John Williams, Dartmouth economist, is a specialist in government economic reporting. More specifically, he exposes the lies and distortions that now run rampant through these government-created statistics.
Mr. Williams’ web site, ShadowStats, reports real stats as they used to be reported prior to the Clinton administration. He’s just issued a flash alert:
The annualized real contraction for fourth-quarter 2008 retail sales was 17.1%.
Consistent with a still-deepening recession, fourth quarter 2008 production showed an annualized quarterly contraction of 11.5%, following an 8.9% contraction in the third quarter.
A depression is defined as a recession where peak-to-trough contraction exceeds 10%, a level currently exceeded in annualized terms by both fourth-quarter real retail sales and industrial production.
Did you get that?
Retail sales actually fell off a cliff last quarter, down by over 17%. This is more than DOUBLE the 7.7% drop the government “officially” reported Jan. 14th. [link to "official" report]
This massive drop in retail sales and fourth quarter industrial production easily exceeds the “10% Rule” for defining the difference between a recession and a depression.
Yes, we are now in a DEPRESSION, not a recession.
Spread the word, and brace 4 impact.