经济的三分之一消失了吗?

2020年8月13日发布

通过 迈克尔·沃尔登

头条新闻令人大跌眼镜。“经济萎缩了三分之一。” “过去五年中的所有经济增长全部消失。” “比1930年代的大萧条更糟糕。” These were some of the reactions to the recent release by the federal government of 国内生产总值 numbers for the second quarter (April, May, June) of this year.

 在我进一步之前,世界到底是什么‘GDP’? 国内生产总值 stands for ‘国内生产总值。’  Think of 国内生产总值 as an aggregate production value for the country. It is a number that represents all the economic value generated by all types of businesses –农民,制造商,服务公司,教育者等,甚至政府–在特定时间段内。以美元为单位,但是这些美元始终会根据通货膨胀进行调整,因此其价值不会’仅仅因为价格上涨而上涨。 

There are several uses of 国内生产总值. 国内生产总值 allows us to track the economic size of the country even though the composition of the economy might be changing. 国内生产总值 is also calculated for most other countries of the world. This allows easy comparisons and rankings of countries using the size of their 国内生产总值 values.

One of the most significant uses of 国内生产总值 is in determining recessions and measuring their size.   The major condition for a recession to occur is 国内生产总值 falling for two consecutive quarters (six months). Then, once a recession is designated, the size of 国内生产总值’收缩表明经济衰退’s severity.

国内生产总值 declined modestly in the first quarter of 2020. With the blockbuster drop in 国内生产总值 during the second quarter, we have an official recession spanning at least the first half of 2020.

Now let me get back to those headlines. The report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said 国内生产总值 fell by 32.9% in the second quarter, just a hair under 33%, or one-third. With the economy having a 国内生产总值 of $19 trillion at the end of the first quarter, does this mean we lost a third of that –是2020年4月,5月和6月的6.3万亿美元?如果这种损失继续下去,到今年年底我们还会剩下经济吗?

Fortunately, the economy did not lose $6.3 trillion of 国内生产总值 in the second quarter of 2020; the loss was much less. 这里’的原因有些复杂。首先,BEA喜欢将大部分数字发布在“annualized basis.”这是什么意思?这意味着引用的数字就像它们在整个一年中持续出现一样。 BEA之所以这样做,是因为用户喜欢按年度进行比较。
Indeed, if you closely read the press release from the BEA announcing the second quarter 国内生产总值 results, you’ll see it says “… 国内生产总值 decreased at an annual rate (my emphasis) of 32.9% during the second quarter of 2020.”换算后,这意味着如果第二季度实际发生的下降持续整个一年,则总下降幅度将为32.9%。

So what was the actual decline in 国内生产总值 in the second quarter? It was 9.5%. When BEA says the 年化 decline was 32.9%, it means that if the 9.5% drop happened for four consecutive quarters, then after adjusting for typical seasonal differences in the economy during the course of a year, the total annual contraction would be 32.9%.

哇那里’介于9.5%和32.9%之间。但是这个故事没有’t stop here.  The $19 trillion 国内生产总值 number at the end of the first quarter is also an 年化 figure. The actual 国内生产总值 created in the first three months of the year was $4.8 trillion.  Applying the decline of 9.5% to $4.8 trillion gives a 国内生产总值 loss in the second quarter of $0.46 trillion, or $460 billion.

因此,是的,经济在春季确实有所萎缩,但没有受到BEA暗示的数万亿美元的影响’s “annualized”数字。是什么让损失更小?这是巨大的联邦帮助,包括家庭刺激检查,增加失业救济金以及对企业的贷款和赠款。没有这些,消费者和企业的支出将大大减少。当然,所有联邦资金都已被借用,而这种借贷的成本将在未来面临。

这里’还有一点。 2020年的经济下滑与1920年代末和1930年代初的大萧条有很多比较。 今年第二季度的实际GDP下降9.5%,确实超过了大萧条期间的任何季度回落。但是,不同之处在于大萧条持续了数年,而经济实际上确实萎缩了近三分之一。今天的经济学家唐’认为经济实际上将萎缩三分之一,他们期望今天’s recession won’持续多年。

这里的教训是经济头条新闻,细节可能无法描绘出相同的画面。有时您必须挖掘才能获得真正的意义。在一年之内,您和我将能够更好地决定病毒感染期间的经济状况。

Walden是北卡罗莱纳州立大学农业与资源经济学系的William Neal Reynolds杰出教授兼推广经济学家,教授并撰写有关个人理财,经济前景和公共政策的文章。