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Breaking News From CNBC’s Steve Liesman: Feds See Problems With GDP Data, Backs CNBC Findings

WHEN: Today, Wednesday, May 20th

WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"

Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Steve Liesman. Following is a link to the article on CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102695676.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

STEVE LIESMAN: The government agency charged with calculating the nation's growth rate is acknowledging problems with its numbers and pledging a series of fixes over the next several months. In a statement to CNBC, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said it's "aware of issues" in it gross domestic product data and "is developing methods to address what it has found." The BEA statement comes after CNBC, in a detailed report in April, showed that first quarter GDP data has been weaker than the other three-quarters for the past 30 years. We also showed that it has been substantially weaker over the past five. That 1.87 is just 0.6 over the last five. Several economists, researchers at the San Francisco and Philadelphia Feds and many Wall Street economists, have since confirmed CNBC's findings. The San Francisco Fed in fact found first quarter growth could be as high as 1.8% compared to the initially reported 0.2%. Many attribute the problem to what is known as "residual seasonality." This is seasonal patterns that hang around or remain even though the data is already adjusted for seasonality. Nicole Mayerhauser, chief of BEA's national income and wealth division, they oversee the GDP report – she said in the statement that the agency has identified several sources of trouble in the data, including federal defense service spending and other inventories as well. She said other would also be revised. And initial rounds of changes, guys, to be completed by July 30. That is in time to be incorporated into the benchmark revisions.

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