Site Meter

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Sometimes I even think about economics. Even stranger sometimes about macroeconomics. Strangest of all sometimes about the US business cycle.
This is an authentic e-mail exchange about inventories. This is not the most recent example. It is dramatic because I predicted that people would write about the data immediately so that the lag event to paper about the event will be less than the lag event to data reporting event was a decade or two ago. Brad's reply that, yes indeed, he had written something about the datum was not a joke.

Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 16:14:40 -0700
To: Robert Waldmann
From: Brad DeLong
Subject: Re: speed
X-AntiVirus: scanned for viruses!
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by id AAA08090

>Dear Brad
>I just read that U.S. inventories declined
>WASHINGTON (AP) — Inventories of unsold goods held by U.S. businesses in
>February registered the biggest decline in almost five years.
>The Commerce Department reported Friday that stocks of goods on shelves and
>backlots fell by 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.22 trillion.
>Now first that seems a lot of fuss for a 0.2% decline (although it means
>net inventory investment declined I guess about 200%). Mainly however, I
>am impressed at how time is speeding up. Given the miracle of modern
>technology I sitting in Frascati (Roma) can read news somewhere in ap land
>and e-mail you all in half an hour. Well OK an hour. I haven't spead up
>much. I got distracted by the Drudge report.
>Here we might hope that we have a mini-growth recession already troughing 3
>months after it was first rumoured to be begining. Which is the alleged
>point of this message. The incredibly quick decline in inventories in a
>minor downturn seems to me to be really new. My guess is that typically
>there would have been a much longer period of involuntary inventory
>accumulation before firms caught on that sales had dropped. I wonder if
>the speading up is due to new methods of keeping track of inventories and
>sales. I fear that someone else has already written a paper about the
>latest datum (someone who can resist Drudge).

Nope. But I'm going to talk about it Tuesday at lunchtime in Washington DC...

How's life?


No comments: