Was it just me or didn’t anyone else’s antennas go up when they heard the latest U.S. GDP number that was released Friday?
The gross domestic product, or GDP, number came in at 5.7 percent, compared with the 4.5 percent expected and much better than the 2.2 percent previous reading.
Personally, I think they numbers were majorly fudged!
It’s also amazing that we got these “amazing GDP numbers” not too long after President Barack Obama gave his longest speech ever!
I just can’t help but wonder if someone was highly incentivized to fudge those numbers.
I know that some may say that could never happen … but many things like this can be very “political” around critical times in the economy.
Don’t get me wrong … if they are genuine numbers, I’m thrilled.
However, here’s one thing that’s standing out to me.
If your economy grows, it has to be fueled.
In other words, it literally takes the use of energy to grow an economy.
The more an economy grows, the more demand was put upon the energy resources in order to produce that growth.
Now, I find it very interesting that around the same time this “wonderful” GDP data came out, that Chevron’s profits slumped.
Why did they say they slumped?
They said it was on a “lack of fuel demand.”
OK, that was just one major energy company.
Surely that was a one-time event, right?
The very same day, Shell also said that they may have to cut jobs.
What was the reason for the potential job cuts?
Shell stated that “energy demand remains muted.”
Those are two major energy companies.
So my question is … How do we have this phenomenal boost in GDP growth of 5.7% for the quarter and we didn’t put hardly any noticeable demand upon the energy supplies?
Now you can see why I’m suspect of the numbers.
The next thing that reinforces this idea in my mind is that oil has dropped from $83 recently to $73 within weeks, not months.
But it’s not just oil prices that have slumped.
Natural gas prices and coal prices have both slumped as well.
So when two and two don’t equal four anymore, things start to look fishy in my book.
In the stock market, they used to have a saying for CEOs and CFOs that played with the numbers on their books.
They’d say that they “cooked the books.”
I think our own government may be guiltier of this right now than many of these corporations that got hammered for doing the very same thing.
But hey, when you “are” the law…who’s going to prosecute you?
I suppose that if our government can illegally borrow from our Social Security system, they can make the GDP data to be whatever they need at the time as well.
However, I still think that you can play with the numbers all you want, but whatever is the “real deal” in the economy is what we’ll really have to face.
I don’t think that outlook is nearly as rosy.
Therefore, I think you’re going to see a huge stock market correction in the months ahead.
When this happens, you’ll continue to see money run out of asset classes that ran up since last March and you will see this money run into the stuff that got beaten down.
Therefore, in the near to medium term, I think you will see the dollar become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the stock market selloff.
It will shoot up as the stock market shoots downward.
So, don’t let the rosy GDP data fool you, things aren’t nearly as good as they “print.”
If it were, the U.S. weekly unemployment claims wouldn’t have worsened in the past couple of weeks — and commodities wouldn’t be falling like they have been if the GDP data were so great.
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