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Cash for Clunkers Pay-Off

Mish says (here) that Cash for Clunkers contributed 1.66% to the 3.5% 3Q GDP growth.  That is 46% of the GDP increase in the third quarter.  Read is article for a discussion of the detailed breakdown of GDP.  His conclusion is that fourth quarter GDP will show lower growth and the risk of return to GDP contraction in first and second quarter is high.

Vincent Fernando and Kamelia Angelova at Clusterstock have the following graph showing what a distortion the third quarter automobile production was.


 
Hat tip to Phil's Stock World (here) and (here).

Also, more analysis is reported today by Neil Irwin in The Washington Post (here).  According to Jan Hatzius, chief U.S. economist of Goldman Sachs, said the government's fiscal intervention and efforts by businesses to rebuild inventories probably contributed about four percentage points to GDP growth.  So the collective effect of government actions is greater than the overall GDP growth; the private sector is still losing GDP.

Editor in Chief Glenn Hall, at TheStreet.com, points out (here) the 650,000 jobs created claimed by the Obama administration after spending $150 billion in stimulus means the cost per job has been about $230,000.  With the median family income around $59,000, this means the cost is not recovered for four years.  How many of these jobs will last four years?

To be fair, the jobs created could be viewed as seeds for future economic growth, as private economic activity is stimulated and private sector employment starts to increase.  Okay, it's possible.  I just haven't seen anybody produce an analysis to support that theory.