The United States economy grew much slower than originally expected during the first quarter of 2013 according to revised data released this week by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
According to the agency, gross domestic product (GDP) growth from January to March was just 1.77 percent – well below the original estimate of 2.5 percent. Wall Street had expected the growth rate to remain roughly unchanged.
Driving the slippage? Less-than-robust consumer spending. Personal consumption – thought to have expanded by 3.4 percent – only grew by 2.6 percent. Estimates on exports and imports were also lowered.
“The good news is that this marked the 15th consecutive quarter of gains,” analyst John Ogg wrote for 24/7 Wall Street. “The bad news is that this is the weakest recovery since the end of World War II.”
Taking a much dimmer view of the proceedings? Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge (which is the greatest economic website on the planet, FYI).
“Dont worry though: 4 years of (quantitative easing) may not have led to sustainable 2 percent plus growth, but another 4 years certainly will,” he wrote. “Or maybe another 40. At this point does anyone even care?”
And therein lies the irony: Namely that the federal government – specifically its central bank, the Federal Reserve – will use this disappointing data as an excuse to continue printing money.