Understated inflation, then, has depressed wage growth, impoverished those in receipt of benefits, masked the decline in the purchasing power of the dollar, and probably contributed to a reckless monetary policy which has mired the United States in excessive debt. But it may also have resulted in economic growth being reported over a long period in which the American economy has really been shrinking, not growing.
According to official figures, the GDP of the United States increased by 16.6%, in real terms, between 2001 and 2011. But these numbers are a function of two calculations which, as we have seen, are not in themselves reliable. First, the reported 2011 GDP number (of $15.1 trillion) is highly questionable, because it includes non-cash “imputations” totalling $2.3 trillion. Second (and much more seriously), since the way in which official inflation is calculated is open to very serious question, so, too, is the GDP deflator, the adjustment which is employed to back out the effects of inflation from changes in the nominal monetary value of economic output.
Once adjustment is made for the distortion of inflation, growth in American real GDP since over the last decade presents a gravely disturbing picture (fig. 4.5). In effect, the United States has been in almost permanent recession since 2000, with real GDP falling year after year, and declining sharply over a ten-year period. The growth-enhancing impact of distorted inflation has not been unique to the United States, of course. As we have seen, the prices of essentials have far out-stripped reported inflation in Britain, suggesting that underlying inflation may have been significantly higher than the reported number. Raising the annual GDP deflator by just 1.55% would have been sufficient to wipe out all reported economic growth in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2011 (“growth” which, as we have seen, was essentially borrowed anyway).I følge Tullett Prebons beregninger har USA altså hatt en "almost permanent recession since 2000". En resesjon siden 2000 betyr jo i praksis og per definisjon at de har hatt en depresjon på 12 år nå.
Her er tall som viser hvordan BNP i USA har vært basert på Tullett Prebons beregniner av reell prisinflasjon: