Nov 26, 2019

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz calls for the end of GDP

Joseph Stiglitz. Photo: Julia Reinhart/Getty Images

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz renewed calls to retire the gross domestic product, or GDP, as the go-to economic indicator.

The big picture: Calls to revamp GDP, no matter how unlikely, are no longer coming from the corners of academia. They're seeping into the mainstream.

"So what if GDP goes up, if most citizens are worse off? ... [I]t should be clear that, in spite of the increases in GDP, in spite of the 2008 crisis being well behind us, everything is not fine."
— Joseph Stiglitz, in an op-ed for The Guardian
  • Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for a "GDP upgrade" that measures quality of life, happiness, clean air and clean water, among other things at a CNN town hall in September.
  • And at a hearing on Capitol Hill, the Commerce Department was called upon to provide regular breakdowns of GDP growth by income bracket.

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U.S. GDP growth revised higher to 2.1% in third quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% annualized pace in the third quarter — faster than the initial read of 1.9% — according to revised data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The revision occurred thanks to an upward revision in business spending, indicating that the economy's slowdown was not as harsh as feared in the face of the U.S.-China trade war. The change means that economic growth accelerated marginally from the prior quarter's 2% growth, but it's worth noting that economists are much less optimistic about growth prospects for the current quarter.

Go deeper: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz calls for the end of GDP

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

Consumers are picking up the lagging business sector's slack

Reproduced from LPL Research; Note: "Other components" includes housing, inventories, trade and government spending; Chart: Axios Visuals

The narrative of the U.S. economy lately has been strong consumer spending as the cornerstone of growth, offsetting lackluster business investment.

Driving the news: Economists pared down estimates for Q4 GDP — prompted by worse-than-expected economic data on Friday. The downgrades would have been worse, if not for retail sales figures that pointed to a solid, but slightly more cautious, consumer.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Fund managers predict strong growth next year for emerging markets

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

After years of U.S. outperformance, fund managers say they expect American assets to deliver gains in line with international markets in 2020.

The big picture: Firms including BlackRock, BofA and JPMorgan say they are particularly bullish on emerging market equities, which have been unloved in 2019.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019