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How much should we trust "seasonally adjusted" numbers these days?

Mar 8, 2023
January was an outlier for jobs, spending and inflation — but can we rely on seasonally adjusted data when the past three Januarys have been so weird?
Did a warm January encourage a surge in consumer spending and inflation? "It’s very hard to explain that all with weather," says Johns Hopkins economist Jonathan Wright.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Why the seasonal adjustment in monthly jobs data?

Mar 6, 2020
Smoothing over predictable seasonable ups and downs in unemployment can reveal underlying economic trends.
One BLS economist said unseasonably mild weather would lead to an uptick in construction.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What seasonally adjusted data does and doesn't mean

Feb 13, 2014
Retail numbers out today don’t look great, sales fell by 0.4 percent in January— when you take into account “seasonal adjustment”.