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July 30, 2010

Unexpectedly: GDP 2.4%

They don't say "unexpectedly" here, but I guess it's implied by now.

The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment.

Consumers spent less, companies slowed their restocking of shelves and the nation's trade deficit dragged more on the economy in the April-to-June quarter. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said the recession was deeper than previously estimated.

Together, the reports raise doubts about whether employers will hire enough and consumers will spend enough to invigorate the economy.

On the upside -- I guess -- the first quarter growth was revised up a full point to 3.7% from 2.7%. That would be nice, except for the fact it makes the last quarter's drop all the bigger.

Helpfully for Obama, it turns out it's all Bush's fault.

Well, again, they don't say that, but that will be the Narrative.

The recession was deeper than the government previously thought.

The Commerce Department, in revisions issued Friday, estimates the economy shrank 2.6 percent last year -- the steepest drop since 1946. That's worse than the 2.4 percent decline originally estimated.

The economy's plunge underscores why the unemployment rate surged to 10.1 percent in October, a 26-year high.

The revisions in gross domestic product, or GDP, now show zero growth in 2008. That compares with a 0.4 percent gain previously estimated.The economy also grew less in 2007 (1.9 percent) than earlier thought (2.1 percent).

For all three years, consumers spent less and home builders cut more deeply than had been thought. Those factors help explain the downward revisions on the economy.

Sure would be nice to have had that trillion in "stimulus" spent on actual stimulus. Or not spent at all.


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posted by Ace at 01:00 PM

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