Well, maybe thats a little harsh. Is it just me or is [economic data released each month](http://www.truthpizza.org/logic/stats.htm) alternating between panic and calm? A lot of information is being thrown at us and its got me worried.

Over the past several months, the economy has seemingly see-sawed between improvement and decline. A lot of it has to do with [revising previously released stats by the Department of Labor.](http://www.dol.gov/dolfaq/go-dol-faq.asp?faqid=98&faqsub=Consumer+Price+Indexes&faqtop=Statistics&topicid=6)

>The [factors that are used to seasonally adjust the data](http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpisaqanda.htm) are
> updated annually. Also, seasonally adjusted data that have
> been published earlier are subject to revision for up to 5
> years after their original release.

The first thing I want to (really) understand is seasonal adjustments. I am very wary of their use because the methodologies used by the [Bureau of Labor Standards seem complicated and not fully explained.](http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpisaqanda.htm) There does not seem to be a standard technique or a way of verifiying their validity.

Now we have concerns over the auto maker data which is important since it is a significant component of core inflation. Prices of cars in June rose 1.5% after a 1% fall in May [despite aggressive discounting by automakers [Note: Paid Subscription]](http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112428088507015510,00.html?mod=djemTAR).

As quoted in the Wall Street Journal…

>But the advance in auto prices appears to be
>inconsistent with the aggressive discounting
>by auto makers over the past few months.

Another stat bash involves [petroleum data [Note: Subscription]](http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?siteid=mktw&dist=nwtwk&guid=%7BD24A6E8A%2D30C7%2D4592%2DB54B%2D07372BA4EA73%7D) which is one of the major factors of CPI.

As quoted in the MarketWatch…

>The oil market has always been volatile, but
>there’s one constant that reliably drives prices
>one way or another: the weekly reports on U.S.
>petroleum supplies.

With many home-buying consumers on economic pins and needles and a blind faith in government statistics, there should be concern that we are all getting more accurate information.

Go to sequel to this post [Lies, Damn Lies, And Government Statistics: Part II](http://matrix.millersamuelv2.wpenginepowered.com/?p=68)