Das Zeitalter der Finanzautomatisierung

PRINCETON – In Wirtschaftskrisen geht es in den öffentlichen Debatten immer um Wachstumsstatistiken, als handele es sich um eine Art Fieberthermometer. Aber die Messungen sind unzuverlässig und verändern sich ständig, so dass Statistiker darüber nachdenken, die sehr unterschiedlichen Produkte einer Volkswirtschaft anders zu messen. Besonders geben jüngst überarbeitete Daten Anlass, Umfang und Rolle von Finanzdienstleistungen neu zu überdenken.

Ende Juli hat das Amt für Wirtschaftsanalyse der Vereinigten Staaten, das Bureau of Economic Analysis, revidierte Daten in Bezug auf das amerikanische Bruttoinlandsprodukt seit 1929 veröffentlicht. Die wichtigste Erkenntnis war, dass das Bruttoinlandsprodukt schlechter zu berechnen ist, als bisher angenommen.

Die Wirtschaft ist in guten Phasen schneller gewachsen und in Abschwungzeiten schneller geschrumpft. Die jährliche Wachstumsrate lag zwischen 1997 und 2008 eher bei 2,8 Prozent als bei 2,7 Prozent. 2008 ist der Wert nicht auf 1,1 Prozent, sondern auf 0,4 Prozent gesunken. Der Einbruch des Bruttoinlandsproduktes im ersten Quartal 2009 war auch erheblich stärker als seinerzeit errechnet.

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