GDP Growth Weak In Fourth Quarter

CONSUMERS, BUSINESSES NOT SPENDING … The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its preliminary “growth” estimate for the United States economy during the fourth quarter of 2015 – a.k.a. October, November and December of last year. Ready? 0.69. Ouch … That’s the weakest quarterly growth since the 0.64 percent increase…


The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its preliminary “growth” estimate for the United States economy during the fourth quarter of 2015 – a.k.a. October, November and December of last year.



Ouch …

That’s the weakest quarterly growth since the 0.64 percent increase reported for the first quarter of 2015.  It also dropped the current annual GDP estimate for 2015 to 2.9 percent.

Will liberal economists and central planners “blame the weather?” Oh right … 2015 was positively balmy, wasn’t it?

So what will the scapegoat be this time?  We’ll have to wait and see …

Of interest?  The key driver of “growth” during 2015 was … wait for it … health care spending (a.k.a. new Obamacare taxes).

Don’t believe us?  Take a look at this chart from our friends at Zero Hedge

(Click to enlarge)

spending growth

(Chart via)

Oh, and let’s not forget to add surging inventories and consumer price index (CPI) manipulation to the mix …

As we noted in a recent column, America’s GDP growth exceeded five percent expansion in twelve out of thirty years from 1950-1980.  In seventeen out of those years, it exceeded four percent growth.

Since then?   The economy hasn’t expanded at a five percent clip once since 1984 … and it hasn’t hit four percent growth since 2000.  Hell, GDP hasn’t even expanded at three percent or better in a decade.

Looks like the recession watch we wrote about last month is on …


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erneba January 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

For many, the cost of ObamaCare is only the first misery that will beset them under this program.

stumpknocker January 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

you know in 1950 the whole world had been bombed into the stone age because of WW2 with the exception of us, the world has been rebuilt and what did we do? kill our unions and ship our jobs to those countries and what did we get for that trade off?
super wal marts.

Rocky Verdad January 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm

So let me get this one down, we finished the year at 3%? And that’s a disaster?

fl ? p January 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm

America doing great is a disaster… to Republicans’ hopes of winning the White House!

Bible Thumper January 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Fitsnews has a misprint. He said 2.9% for the year. It should be 2.4%, nevertheless, this beats almost all of the major developed countries in the world.

Jose Wales January 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Must have been the warm weather.Last year the occupiers of the wH blamed the cold weather.

Che January 30, 2016 at 8:05 am

3% or less growth while the barrel of oil is around $30 tells ya we ain’t in the game of industrial manufacturing or building infrastructure anymore – post-industrial is the fancy word.
While folks rent their home for AirBN&B, drive Uber a day or two per week and have 3 jobs in the service industry to get by. How is that capitalism working for ya? At the same time plutocrats and those not relying on wages but wealth buy themselves a president.
But what do I know I’m just a dumb Latino…

Bible Thumper January 30, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Well, how are your buddies doing in Cuba or Venezuela? You would hope for greater than 3% growth at this stage of the US recovery, but remember our population growth is only about 0.75%. Those memories of 3% to 5% GDP were when population growth was much higher.

We are still recovering from the worst recession 85 years. We have problems, but so does most socialists European countries. All of Obama’s new regulations haven’t helped and there are issues with income distribution, but considering everything, “crony” capitalism is not doing too bad. Most of those plutocrats weren’t born rich. They are wealth creators. They are as divided on who should be President as everyone else. The American voter is smart enough to sort it out.

Everyone that comments at this site has an opinion and thinks they are smarter than those they disagree with, but the dumbest voters at both extremes cancel each other out. I believe in spite of their errors, the voters do a better job selecting leaders than anyone at Fits or its commenters could. There is a reason free market republics out perform all the others systems.

Che January 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm

I know a few cubans in Miami and New York and been to Venezuela once, not a place I would like to live. I was born in Buenos Aires, an a medical doctor and have a nickname that let’s certain people jump to conclusions.
I did spent part of the late 70ies (76-79) in prison as a ‘left wing agitator’. Count your blessings you never had to face a rubber hose because of your political conviction.
I am a democratic socialist (Bernie is not the only one), in Europe I would be in a social democratic party and value work, family and critical thinking.
And I agree with you that ‘direct democracy’ will not work but I disagree with you on how to tame capitalism.

Bible Thumper January 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Fair enough. Che and the use of plutocrats does lead one to make certain assumptions. Class politics doesn’t interest me at all. A doctor is usually not a member of the proletariat. If you not a plutocrat, at least you’re bourgeoisie.

Che January 30, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Oh I am bourgeoise but that does not prevent me from being progressive. the “other Che” also came from a well respected bourgeoise family and not the proletariat. The wealth distribution in the US (and Russia) is based on wealth not labor and in both countries the “few white swans” (from dishwasher to millionaire) are not representative enough for a systemtri claim It has enough social mobility.
I’m worried about the ‘ lumpenproletariat ‘ which still exists whereas the ‘classical proletariat as revolutionary subject’ probably only existed a few decades and is a myth now.

Bible Thumper January 30, 2016 at 7:57 pm

 ‘ Lumpenproletariat ‘  I had to look that one up. Wealth (capital), innovation and education are the only things that advance labor productivity. Education also advances innovation.

You can improve labors condition by improved productivity or by taking wealth from the rich. Taking wealth dicourages capital creation.

Fair, established legal/political institutions encourage capital investment and protect labor, capital and innovatotion. That is the only way labor sustains long term advancement.

Venezuela had short term advancement by devouring wealth/capital but not encouraging new wealth creation. It was unsustainable and now their situation is desperate.

Che January 31, 2016 at 9:56 am

Productivity gains are tapering off -the IT revolution together with increased use of ‘artificial intelligence/machine learning’ will continueto result in massive loss of jobs (including white collar in medicine and law).
The wealth distribution is too skewed and a middle class life is barely possible based on labor alone. I assume you are not a fan of Piketty?
Education is unfortunately not supported enough. higher education is no longer viewed as a public good but a private investment. There is the real specter of workless citizen hunched over their screens, getting by without being valuable members of society. A bit of uber, a bit of bartering, a small pension, social security…not a very uplifting vision for a society built on bourgoise values ( work ethic, delayed gratification, family values, education to better one’s situation) which no longer guarantees success or even a decent status.
Capitalism has destroyed the social and cultural values it was built on. New models are hard to develop. Maybe the uncondictionsl guaranteed income debated in Finnand and Switzerland could reduce Beaurocratic inefficiencies and stabilize the civic structures enough to buy us sone time?

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