What Manipulated Government Economic Statistics Really Look Like

People love to spin conspiracy theories regarding US economic data, and how the government manages the numbers to get favourable results..

We wrote about one last night. There was a belief that US CPI (inflation) data was undermined by an alternative measure called the Billion Prices Project/PriceStats, which collects price data online daily. Anyway, it turns out that was totally wrong, the alternative measure ends up matching up quite nicely with US data, as this chart shows.

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Photo: State Street Global Markets

But the project also tracks data from Argentina because, we suspect, serious economists do believe that Argentine data is faked. Here’s an article in The Economist on how nobody believes Argentine inflation data.

So how does the online measure compare?

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Photo: State Street Global Markets

So there’s a massive difference between official data and PriceStats data.

This is what manipulated data really looks like.

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