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U.S. Economic Growth: Dueling Bad News




Talk about double trouble …

The federal government’s secretive central bank now has not one but two of its branches tracking America’s economic growth in “real time.”

One of these measures – the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDP Now – is obviously an indicator we’ve been tracking for some time.  This estimate of gross domestic product expansion (or contraction) was humming along at 2.7 percent as recently as two months ago, but has since tanked.  The latest reading? A measly 0.3 percent growth.

Want a second opinion?  Now you can get one courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) – which has just launched its own “real-time” economic tracker called the “FRBNY Nowcast.”

According to this measure, gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter will clock in at 0.8 percent – while second quarter GDP is being projected at 1.2 percent.

Hmmm …

For those of you keeping score at home, the official first quarter “advance estimate” of economic growth – released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)  – won’t be available until April 29.  A second estimate will be released on May 27 and a third estimate will follow on June 28.

In the era of obscenely-large, increasingly invasive government, sluggish economic activity is nothing new.  To wit: GDP growth hasn’t exceeded four percent in fifteen years – and hasn’t managed to hit the three percent threshold since 2005.  The last time the economy grew at a robust rate of more than five percent?  All the way back in 1984.

As long as policymakers in Washington, D.C. continue incentivizing dependency, spending money we don’t have, doling out corporate welfare like candy, rigging trade deals to benefit select multinational corporations, intervening in conflicts all over the globe, opening our borders to anyone who wishes to enter and printing more money in a demonstrably failed attempt to “stimulate” growth … expect more of the same.

In fact there’s a better-than-average chance we’re already in another recession …