Making Up for Lost Data
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that construction spending dropped 0.4 percent in November. But it did so with one of the odder footnotes that it has ever printed: "In the November 2015 press release, monthly and annual estimates for private residential, total private, total residential and total construction spending for January 2005 through October 2015 have been revised to correct a processing error in the tabulation of data on private residential improvement spending." Now, that doesn't sound like much, but, essentially, correcting a small statistical error caused an entire decade of construction data to be revised. The impact, as reported by Andrea Riquier at Marketwatch, could be an upward impact of as much as 0.2 to 0.3 percent on the U.S.'s 2014 GDP, and could raise GDP numbers for 2015 as well. And while 0.2 percent of something might seem insignificant, 0.2 percent of the most wealthy national economy in the world which generally only grows at about 2 to 3 percent per year is actually a lot of money.

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