The Second Derivative and the Economy

The Jerk

The Jerk

You know we’re in bad shape when they are reduced to pointing out that the second derivative of the economy is positive:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing.

–Federal Reserve

That is, the economy is still shrinking (i.e. has a negative first derivative), but, hey, at least it’s shrinking more slowly!

The optimists interpret this to mean:

The Federal Reserve just basically said that as far as the economy goes, things are slowly getting better.

–Mark Memmott, NPR website

Mr. Memmott must have slept through Calculus.  Us math folk know he’s not quite right.  They didn’t say things are getting better.   They said things are getting worse, but more slowly than before.   No wonder they call economics the dismal science!

No word on the Federal Reserve‘s position on the jerk of the US economy (or should we say the jerk of the US economy?).  We’re also waiting to hear about the government’s opinion on the snap, crackle, and pop.

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One thought on “The Second Derivative and the Economy

  1. This just goes to show that if the world was run by math-conscious people, it would be a socially awkward place, but it would work!

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