Follow us:

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

March 27, 2014 at 10:29 AM

GDP growth shows recovery’s weakness

This is what it has come to: Growth in gross domestic product putt-putted along at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter and the Wall Street Journal, the Bible of capitalism, pronounces it “solid.”

Solid GDP growth was the 4.1 percent seen in the third quarter. That’s the level needed to fill the hole in demand left by the Great Recession and start creating jobs at a decent rate. Unfortunately, it was not sustained (and the number was distorted by a buildup in inventories). Such a rate has been a rarity in the recovery — or as many Americans see it, “recovery.” Here’s how output growth stacks up against recoveries from the most severe recent downturns:

gdp_recovery

Some eighteen quarters after the official end of the Great Recession, and this upswing is still sub-par. In fact, it is the weakest seen among post-World War II recoveries. (You can compare all of them here).

Today’s report marks the government’s third revision to the data (the first forecast was 3.2 percent).  It missed expectations. Personal consumption, rising at 3.3 percent, is being cited as the diamond in the mud of today’s report. Unfortunately, much of that is being sustained by debt. Wages remain stagnant at best for most.

Now, on to the first quarter report, where the weather can be blamed for a continuing dismal recovery.

And Don’t Miss: Tomorrow’s cargo ships will use augmented reality to sail the seas | Wired

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Charlotte’s mayor jailed

But Charlotte’s bankers went free

Wolves of Tryon Street

 

 

Comments | More in Economy | Topics: Gross domestic product, Recovery

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►