President Obama, speaking to today’s Republican retreat in Baltimore, had this to say about this morning’s GDP numbers:
“The latest GDP numbers show that our economy is growing by almost 6 percent. That’s the most since 2003. To put that in perspective, this time last year, we weren’t seeing positive job growth, we were seeing the economy shrink by about 6 percent. So you’ve seen a 12 percent reversal during the course of this year.”
Oh, where to start? For the sake of ease, let’s just say the GDP of country A is $100. If it declines 6 percent, that would bring it down to $94. Then, if it bumps back up by 6 percent, that brings the GDP to $99.64. That is not, in fact, a 12 percent reversal!