Tuesday, September 1, 2015

We're in a "tecnical recession". So, what is a "technical" recession?

Who knows?  It's a meaningless term:
We still don’t know whether Canada is in a recession. After a steady drumbeat of claims that Canada had fallen into a “technical” recession in the first half of 2015, second-quarter GDP dipped 0.1 per cent, although it grew 0.5 per cent in June. Given the country’s steady job growth, there isn’t much more clarity about a possible recession today than there was before the six-month economic data were released on Tuesday.

...all the emphasis on the idea that Canada was in a “technical” recession — as opposed to some other, non-technical type. The term is meaningless; all recessions are technical  ...

... When people call it a technical recession, it’s a signal that they have either a political agenda or they lack expertise ...
It's worth noting that Philip Cross, the author of the above linked column, was the Stats Can guy who wrote the book on defining these things.

Of course none of this makes any difference whatever, politically, for those with an agenda.  And, in election season who could possibly have a political agenda?  They'll use it to their advantage by exaggerating, obfuscating or lying. And most won't know the difference.


Anonymous said...

“technical” recession
The term is meaningFUL because CPC included that very definition in their bogus balanced budget legislation that they introduced when they believed they would balance the budget after 7 consecutive deficits.

Same old don't do as I do, do as I say BS from Stevie and Co.

Anonymous said...

How some economists refer to current economic conditions:

• “a relatively mild recession.”

• “its amplitude is relatively mild”

• ”it will be of the mildest variety and one of the strangest recessions ever”

• “I wouldn’t say this is a big red light saying this economy is in recession…”

• “Small back-to-back contractions in quarterly GDP are a necessary but not sufficient condition for a recession call.”

From the Financial Post article:
"... the underlying trend of the economy was improving during the second quarter. Jobs grew steadily. The federal government ran a budgetary surplus in the quarter (even discounting its sale of General Motors shares, rising tax revenue is not typical of a receding economy)."

Only rabid partisans and the stupid are cheering that Canada may be in a recession.
-- Gabby in QC

Martin said...

Mr Cross makes very valid points. Unlike the CPI for example, Stats Can constantly revises its estimate of Real Gdp.The monthly estimates are based om Industry value added, benchmarked to the latest Input-Oouput Table, 2 1/2 years behind. Gdp by Industry projections are based on Output, as no current data exists for the Inputs. This may be fairly accurate for good producing industries,but for the huge service and government sectors lack of such data is problematic.The estimates are calculated using the latest I-O ratios,which assumes no change in industry productivity or economic conditions. Not to say analysts don't do a good, consistent job of the estimates,but the problem of accurately measuring real Gdp is significant.The difference between .00 growth and -.1 is a relatively very small number on a $1.6 trillion economy. I would not want to go to the wall in declaring a recession on such a prediction. Media commentators and politicians show no such reluctance, and that is a major problem.

JR said...

Speaking of BS, Anon #1 wrote "The term is meaningFUL because CPC included that very definition in their bogus balanced budget legislation"

Bullcrap! They did no such thing.

Then there's the fact that, recession or not, there's little to nothing that tiny Canada can do to avoid recessions that are generated externally as the recent ones have been. But what Canada can do is try to minimize the damage and it has been relatively successful in doing that. It's economic performance has been at or near the top in the developed world (which is to say the entire world).

Anonymous said...

There goes the libdipper election platform. I can't wait to see what they move to next. Trudeau pulled out the harder for the "middle class" to get ahead nonsense so I guess we know where he's going.

dmorris said...

Yes,we're in a real recession, call it "technical" if you must,but going by real figures,like how many jobs are no longer there,especially in the oil patch,and yep.We need oil prices to soar back to about $80 a barrel,and we need to build those pipelines,all of 'em. Green energy is a fantasy that is destroying Ontario and Europe,let's not go there.

Economists and accountants love to baffle us with stats, but regardless of how THEY perceive the situation right now, we're in a bloody recession,all political BS aside.

AND, it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Stephen Harper or his government,it's the whole world economy,especially China that has ground to, if not a full stop, what we used to call "bull low".

Canada is in probably the best financial condition of any G-7 Nation, and it sure as hell won't get any better if we elect socialist dreamers with their expensive social programs,or an idiot with a famous name.

Anonymous said...

Other tan 2 recessions, 7 deficits and $150 billion in debt, Harper is an awesome PM.

Anonymous said...

Canada is in recession according to Harper's own law.

JR you can dismiss the recession as poor liitle Canada being pushed around by the world economy, but I didn't hear you saying that in good times. You can't have it both ways.

The USA had 3.7% growth and we shrunk by .5%. This is a made in Canada recession as a result of Harper's failed policies.


Anonymous said...

old white guy says.........between the slump in oil prices and the liberal's deliberate destruction of business in Ontario, I am very surprized the country is doing as well as it is. play with the math all you want, that will not change any reality that we are or are not facing.

Anonymous said...

you mention the liberals killing Ontario's economy but you forgot the NDP sewering Alberta Oil in under 90 days with a crippling 2x carbon tax BS plan that's basically got any development on hold unless they'd already broken ground. I agree with the earlier comment about getting every pipeline and resource moving out as fast as possible to get the money moving as well and the tax revenue volume can and will generate by shipping those resources.

When the resources are all gone you'll be amazed at how fast new technologies are developed to take their place by companies like exon, shell, suncor, and BP to name a few...