GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS ON AMERICA’S ECONOMY
The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2 percent clip in the fourth quarter of 2013 – down from the third quarter’s 4.1 percent growth rate. Still, that’s good for a second-half growth rate of 3.7 percent – the economy’s best second-half performance since 2003.
Good news right?
Eh … not judging by the food stamp rolls.
Also 2013’s first-half performance was abysmal – which resulted in slowed growth compared to the previous year.
America’s gross domestic product – or total economic output – grew by only 1.9 percent from the previous year, well below 2012’s 2.8 percent growth rate (and it’s exceedingly likely these numbers will be revised downward in the coming months).
Up is better than down, though … and one bright spot in the fourth quarter data was a big jump in personal consumption (and a decline in inventories). However we’d stop short of agreeing with the The Wall Street Journal‘s contention that “Americans largely withstood a payroll-tax increase in the earlier part of the year and benefited from an improving labor market.”
Last time we checked declining growth wasn’t a sign of “withstanding” anything … it was a sign that tax hikes suppressed growth.
Seriously … imagine what the economy could have done in 2013 had Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. not jacked up taxes?
Anyway, can the second-half 2013 growth be sustained?
Experts aren’t overly optimistic – citing a net trade boost and reduced consumer demand moving forward.
“Enjoy the Q4 GDP surge – it won’t last into 2014,” the website Zero Hedge notes.
The money-printers at the U.S. Federal Reserve are optimistic, though. They’re projected growth of 2.8 – 3.2 percent next year.
GDP as measured by the US is a flawed and wholly inaccurate measurement anyway.
Anytime you can create billions of dollars out of thin air and then get to INCLUDE it in GDP you know it’s a bullshit figure.
Just like the BLS unemployment rate, pure politicized bullshit.
If you trust any number this corrupt administration and its media drops…you are not a very smart person…
FTA: Anyway, can the second-half 2013 growth be sustained?
Well, the numbers can be cooked to look that way, sure.
It’s amazing the numbers are this good, considering the forced austerity created by the Republicans’ fiscal policies and debt hysteria during a time of recession.
Failure to utilize the lessons learned (and then forgotten) from the Great Depression is why we currently have an output gap of $900 billion.
Forget all that. Here’s all you need to know about these sensitive Republican souls, so hurt by the President’s new found lack of interest in bipartisanship. Before Obama was even inaugurated, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — the one who was complaining about the boilerplate — gathered the entire Senate Republican Caucus and said, make a public show of wanting to work with the President, but block him at every turn in order to deny him any bipartisan victories, for which Obama will be blamed, because he’s the guy who ran on bipartisanship. “Ah-yup.” And as Senator Voinovich said, “If [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it.”
Hope & Change
I wonder in what industries the growth was in? If it was my guess it would be in the financial sector and little elsewhere.
Exactly correct. Inclusive of Oil trading.