Did we say 3.5% GDP growth? Oops!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do remember last month's GDP report showing that the economy grew at 3.5%.  Well, experts are expecting the estimate to be adjusted downward to 2.9%.  This is not unusual.  GDP figures come out every quarter and during off-months the numbers are adjusted.  According to the AP:

"A government report due out Tuesday morning is expected to show that the economy expanded at a pace of 2.9 percent from July through September, according to Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. If they are right, it would mark a slower expansion than the 3.5 percent pace reported a month ago. Most of that rebound reflected federal support for spending on homes and cars.

The main forces behind the expected third-quarter downgrade: commercial construction was weaker, the nation's trade gap was more of a drag, businesses trimmed more of their stockpiles and consumers didn't spend as much.

So, the good news is the economy finally started to grow again, after a record four straight losing quarters. The bad news: The rebound, now and in the months ahead, probably will be lethargic.

Federal Reserve officials and other economists say growth won't be strong enough to quickly drive down the nation's unemployment rate. The nation's current 10.2 percent jobless rate marks only the second time in the post-World War II period that unemployment has topped 10 percent."

It will be interesting to see the revised numbers.  Over the last few quarters, the only component to GDP that was growing was government and as the article pointed out, all the elements that are not government are expected to be revised down.

1 comment

CJ said...

You and I both opposed the stimulus, and if we had our way GDP growth would be zero or negative this quarter.

November 24, 2009 at 9:49 PM

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