But the true results were probably far worse—unless you believe that the annual rate of inflation this past winter was an anemic 1.27% per the BEA’s deflator for GDP.
Even the medicated CPI-U index clocked in at 1.8% during Q1 and is now running north of 2%. Likewise, food was up at a 2.1% annualized rate during Q1, rents and medical care were each up at a 3% rate, and consumer energy prices were rising at a 5% annualized rate.
So based on actual inflation, the Q1 US GDP number was negative 3-5% at best.
Moreover, if you use a non-governmental measure of inflation, such as the Billion Prices Project (BPP), the picture is even more foreboding.
As the Consumer Metric Institute noted, based on the BPP inflation of 3.91% in Q1,
real GDP would have clocked in at a deep, recessionary -5.6%.