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On , Ehud Barak from One Israel (an alliance of Labor, Meimad and Gesher) was elected Prime Minister, and formed a coalition with the Centre Party (a new party with centrist views, led by former generals Yitzhak Mordechai and Amnon Lipkin-Shahak), the left-wing Meretz, Yisrael Ba Aliyah, the religious Shas and the National Religious Party.

The coalition was committed to continuing negotiations; however, during the two years of the government's existence, most parties left the coalition, leaving Barak with a minority government of the Labor and the center party alone.

That began a lengthy process of exploring the history and nature of economic reporting and in interviewing key people involved in the process from the early days of government reporting through the present.

For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front page stories in 1989 in the Nonetheless, the quality of government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last couple of decades.

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Our website provides access to the Valuation List at any time of the day or night and averages five million hits per year.S.-based Freedom House, which attempts to measure the degree of democracy and political freedom in every nation, ranked Israel as the Middle East and North Africa’s only free country.In those elections – the first direct election of a prime minister in Israeli history – Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu won by a narrow margin, having sharply criticized the government's peace policies for failing to protect Israeli security.Barak was forced to call for early elections, the only prime ministerial elections not held alongside Knesset elections.On 17 February 2001, elections resulted in a new "national unity" coalition government, led by Ariel Sharon of the Likud, and including the Labor Party.• The Worst Trade Deficit Since 2007 Clobbered Fourth-Quarter GDP; Deteriorating Net Exports Knocked 1.13% (-1.13%) Off Quarterly Growth • Fourth- Versus Third-Quarter Real GDP Growth Slowed to 2.55% from 3.16%, with Inventory Liquidation and a Soaring Trade Deficit Offsetting Some of the Gains from Surging Defense Spending and Disaster-Boosted Demand for Goods and Structures • Net of Trade and Inventories, Fourth- Versus Third-Quarter Real GDP Growth Jumped to 4.35% from 2.01% • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Full Recovery from the Recession: U. Durable Goods Orders, Freight Activity and Manufacturing All Have Completed a Full Decade of No Economic Expansion • Defense Spending Boosted December Durable Goods Orders Sharply • Faltering Consumer Outlook • Foreclosures Appear to Be on the Rise, as Existing-Home Sales Sink Anew • On Top of Sharp Downside Revisions to November Home Sales, December Activity Plunged Monthly by 9.3% (-9.3%) and by 3.6% (-3.6%) for New and Existing Homes, Shy of Respective Pre-Recession Peaks by 55.0% (-55.0%) and 23.4% (-23.4%) More ...• Hurricane Distortions to Economic Reporting Start to Unwind • Two-Thirds of the 0.9% Monthly Jump in December 2017 Industrial Production Reflected Unseasonably-Bad Weather Boosting Utility Usage • Full-Year 2017 Production Rose by 1.95%, Following Full-Year Annual Declines of 1.22% (-1.22%) in 2016 and 0.71% (-0.71%) in 2015 • Big Swings in Mining Activity (Oil Production) Drove Those Full-Year Changes, versus Annual Stagnation in Utilities and in the Much-Larger Manufacturing Sector, Despite a Late-2017 Manufacturing Surge for Hurricane-Damaged-Vehicle Replacement • Fourth Quarter Industrial Production Regained Its Pre-Recession Peak for a Second Time • Dominant Manufacturing Sector Held Shy of Its Pre-Recession Peak by 4.54% (-4.54%), Just Having Passed a Full 10 Years, 120 Months or 40 Quarters of Continuous Non-Expansion; Longest Period of Non-Expansion in the 100-Year History of the Production Series • In Ongoing Extreme, Monthly Volatility, December Housing Starts Plunged by 8.2% (-8.2%), Reflecting Some Negative Catch Up, as Hurricane-Distorted Boosts Began to Unwind • New Residential Construction Remained in Low-Level, Downtrending Stagnation, with Building Permits Shy by 42.5% (-42.5%), Housing Starts Shy by 47.6% (-47.6%) and Single-Unit Starts Shy by 54.1% (-54.1%) of Recovering Pre-Great Recession Peak Activity • Multiple-Unit Starts Recovered in 2015, but Have Fallen Back Since by 20.9% (-20.9%) from Their Pre-Recession High More ...• Headline Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted; Annual Real Earnings Growth Fell to a Five-Year Low • December Real Retail Sales Softened, but Headline Activity Surged for the Holiday Season, Despite Contracting Real Earnings and Slowing Real Growth in Consumer Credit • Nominal Fourth-Quarter Sales Jump Reflected Higher Inflation and Insurance Payments • CPI-U Monthly Inflation Slowed to 0.15% in December 2017, Annual Growth Slowed to 2.11%, with Core Inflation at 1.78%, Still Below FOMC Target • Final-Demand PPI Monthly Inflation Declined by 0.09% (-0.09%) in December 2017, Annual Gain Pulled Back to 2.61%, from a 70-Month High of 3.07% in November 2017 • Dampened PPI Inflation Reflected a Reversal from Hurricane-Disrupted Energy Prices, with Monthly Goods Inflation at 0.00% and Services Down by 0.17% (-0.17%) • Despite the Booming Headline Numbers, Prospects Continue to Darken for U. Economic and Financial-Market Activity • Tax Cuts and High Stock Prices Are Positive for the Economy, but Do Not Mistake Inflation and a Declining Dollar for Increased Wealth or Income More ...• Weaker-Than-Consensus 148,000 Payroll Gain Was Boosted by Downside Revisions, Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal a New Recession • Annual Household Survey Revisions Were Negligible for Headline U.3, but Not as Placid for Broader Unemployment and Other Measures • December 2017 Unemployment Rates Were Mixed Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.07% from 4.12%, U.6 Rose to 8.08% from 7.99% and the Shadow Stats-Alternate Held at 21.7%: No Full Employment • Indicators of Stressed-Employment Conditions Have Re-Intensified, Following Brief, Hurricane-Distorted Improvements in September • Private Surveying of December Labor Conditions Showed Monthly Gains, but with Annual Contraction/No Growth and Ongoing Non-Expansion • Monthly Trade Deficit Topped Billion for First Time in Five Years, with Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit on Solid Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007 • Despite a November Gain on Top of Upside Revisions, Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.4% (-21.4%) • December 2017 M3 Annual Growth Jumped to Back to a Two-Year of 4.8%, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Three-Year High of 9.7% More ...• Annual Household Survey Revisions Were Negligible for Headline U.3, but Not as Placid for Broader Unemployment and Other Measures • December 2017 Unemployment Rates Were Mixed Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.07% from 4.12%, U.6 Rose to 8.08% from 7.99%, and the Shadow Stats-Alternate Held at 21.7% • Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal a New Recession • Private Surveying of December Labor Conditions Showed Monthly Gains, but with Annual Contraction/No Growth and Ongoing Non-Expansion • Trade Deficit Widened Month-to-Month and Year-to-Year with the Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Still on Solid Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007 • Despite a November Gain on Top of Upside Revisions, Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.4% (-21.4%) • December 2017 M3 Annual Growth Jumped Back to a Two-Year High of 4.8%, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Three-Year High of 9.3% More ...• 2018: An Unusually Challenging and Unsettled Time, with Likely Tumultuous Markets, a Non-Recovering Economy, Political Turmoil and Election Surprises • Faltering Consumer Outlook and Tightening Liquidity Conditions Are Inconsistent with Shrinking Unemployment and Surging Holiday-Season Sales • Beyond Data Disruptions, Booming Headline Economic Activity Has Been Fueled by One-Time Insurance Payments and Liquidation of Savings, Not by Regular or Sustainable Income Growth • December 2017 Marks the Tenth Anniversary of the Formal Onset of the 2007 Recession • Economic Expansion Is Defined as Growth Beyond the Prior Business-Cycle Peak • Key Headline Measures of Consumer and Industrial Activity Still Remain Shy of Recovering Pre-2007 Recession Peaks • Trade Deficit Has Turned Increasingly Negative for Fourth-Quarter GDP More ...• New-Home Sales Reporting-Illusion Reflected Absurd Volatility: Multi-Decade-High Surge of 17.5% in November 2017 Sales Was a Gimmick; Considering Massive Downside Revisions, Recast Sales Boom Contracted by 1.9% (-1.9%); Headline Detail Still Shy by 47.2% (-47.2%) of Recovering Pre-Recession Peak • Boosted Heavily by Unstable Seasonal Adjustments, November Existing-Home Sales Jumped 5.6% Month-to-Month, Still Holding Shy by 20.0% (-20.0%) of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak • As Hurricane-Disruptions Work Out of the New Orders System, Real Annual Durable Goods Growth Slowed Sharply, Ex-Volatile Commercial Aircraft • Real New Orders for Durable Goods Remained Down by 9.7% (-9.7%) from Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak • Third Estimate of Real Third-Quarter 2017 GDP Revised to 3.16% (Previously 3.30%), versus 3.06% in Second-Quarter 2017 • Second Estimate of Third-Quarter Gross National Product (GNP) Revised to 3.65% (was 3.47%); Gross Domestic Income (GDI) Revised to 2.03% (was 2.53%) • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Full Recovery from the Collapse into 2009 and No Economic Expansion More ...• Stocks Continue to Boom, with Extreme Downside Vulnerability to Near-Term Negative Economic Surprises and Otherwise • Pending Run on the U. Dollar Should Mirror a Flight into Gold and Silver • Economic Reporting Does Not Reflect Costs of Destruction from Natural Disasters, but It Does Reflect Gains from Temporary Relief and Recovery Activity • Freight Index Continued in Non-Recovered, Low-Level Stagnation • Nonsense Volatility and Revisions Hit November 2017 Housing Starts, Amidst a Continued Likely Boost from Disaster Recovery • Headline Gain of 3.3% Was 0.5% Net of Revisions • Activity Remained in Low-Level, Non-Recovered Stagnation, with Housing Starts Still Shy of Their Pre-Recession High by 42.9% (-42.9%) and Single-Unit Starts Shy of Recovery by 51.6% (-51.6%) • Multiple-Unit Starts Recovered in 2015, but Have Fallen Back Since by 18.4% (-18.4%) from Their Pre-Recession Peak • Building Permits Remained Shy of Recovery by 42.6% (-42.6%) More ... The level of revenue passenger miles was their primary sales forecasting tool, and the model was heavily dependent on the GNP (now GDP) as reported by the Department of Commerce.

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