The Saga of America’s Doctored Economic Data

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America’s newly elected President Donald Trump often complains about “Fake News” when he talks about the economy. This is something really disturbing for statisticians, but the thing which is even more disturbing is that the fake data comes from the administration itself. The number crunchers believe that Trump’s remarks about the authenticity of economic data may result in some serious troubles ahead.
A lot of analysts seem to agree with Donald Trump’s suspicions about the economic figures. A 32 years old former official who retired from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says,

“There are legislations that “protect the economic data from manipulation, but do not address all my concerns about independence. For instance, a Cabinet secretary may order the statistic bureau to conceal certain figures or to alter methodologies in ways that may be politically motivated.”

A Wall Street report on Sunday says the Trump administration is mulling over changes that could make the US trade balance look worse than currently reported. Trump regularly accuses past administrations of failing to safeguard America’s interests on the trade front. Data showing bigger trade deficit should pave way for Trump’s stance about strict retaliatory actions against.

China and some other US trading partners

Trump has also showed concerns about the authenticity of the US job data during his presidential campaign. He believes that the “Real Unemployment” rate may be far above the official figure. Official unemployment data shows 4,8% and the figures are stable:
Unemployment data

“Do not believe these unrealistic figures,” Trump told supporters of the jobless rate in early 2016. “The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35 [percent]. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

Again the experts seem to agree with the Trump’s views about the job numbers. The Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reinforced the skepticism during his Senate confirmation hearing, stating outright that the “unemployment rate is not real” – a view backed days later by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in a briefing with reporters.
Doubts about the economic statistics are serious. The concerned authorities should take appropriate measures to safeguard the data from politically-motivated manipulation.
Do you believe government’s economic statements?
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