The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses a wholly bogus imputed rent variable in its calculations about the health of the US economy and the health of the real estate industry.
BEA treats homeowners as businesses, which pay rent to themselves. Therefore, homeowners contribute to the real estate industry’s GSP even if not employed by the industry.
Talk about artificially inflating economic figures to make things look better than they are. This is akin to saying that if you own an iPod, you’re essentially running an iPod rental business, renting your iPod from yourself every month.
Does that make any sense at all to you? It doesn’t to me – and that means that the numbers on things like productivity, inflation, and the economic health and well being of the country are flawed.