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The Myth of First-Quarter Residual Seasonality
The current policy debate is influenced by the possibility that the first-quarter GDP data were affected by ?residual seasonality.? That is, the statistical procedures used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) did not fully smooth out seasonal variation in economic activity. If this is indeed the case, then the weak readings of the economy in the first quarter give an inaccurate picture of the state of the economy. In this post, we argue that unusually adverse winter weather, rather than imperfect seasonal adjustment by the BEA, was an important factor behind the weak first-quarter GDP ...