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Data Dilemma: When Final Isn’t Final

Weekly Economic Commentary

August 25, 2014

Revisions to GDP don’t often change the overall picture of the health, or lack thereof, of the economy.

Despite cutbacks to congressional funding of data collection at the federal level in recent years, the GDP data are a lot more accurate than they used to be.

About every five years, the BEA does a “comprehensive revision” to GDP, and at that point, GDP for any specific quarter is just about as final as it will get, as the BEA has 98% of the data it needs to calculate GDP. 

 

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