ERIC Number: ED311242
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Manufacturing Numbers: How Inaccurate Statistics Conceal U.S. Industrial Decline.
Contrary to a major statistical series calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Gross Product Originating (GPO) series, the United States has experienced a definite erosion of its industrial base between 1973 and 1985, with manufacturing dropping at least 2.8 percent and perhaps as much as 4.5 percent in its share of national output. Manufacturing labor productivity growth from 1979-85 was about 1.9 percent annually rather than the 3.5 percent growth implied by the GPO series. That growth rate is only 60 percent that of other industrialized countries. The GPO series' reliability is suspect for the following reasons, among others: (1) the series' statements imply that imported components and service sector outsourcing decreased during this period, whereas all evidence shows that it rose; (2) large adjustments made to the 1972-74 data critically distort the historic trends, accounting for 40 percent of purported manufacturing output growth in the 1973-83 period; (3) given the input-output data, the series has been overstating the growth of manufacturing value-added; and (4) the series' reliance on price changes for only domestically produced goods leads to a systematic overstatement of constant dollar value-added growth during periods of large increases in imports. (The document includes four appendices and a four-page bibliography.) (CML)
Descriptors: Economic Research, Economics, Manufacturing Industry, Productivity, Research Problems, Statistical Bias
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 812, Washington, DC 20036 ($5.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.