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Friday, January 29, 2010

GDP grows 5.7 percent!

The BEA's Q4-2009 Advance report:
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.
Given that the last report went from 3.5 percent down to 2.2 percent, what are the chances that this impressive number - more than double the average rate of economic growth over the last 50 years - will hold up? Even Wall Street isn't pretending to take the GDP reports seriously any longer. Note that at $14,463.4, US GDP is now reported to be larger than it ever has been before.

Apparently the 89.7 percent of workers who still have jobs are exceedingly productive. As far as I'm concerned, this claim of economic growth at a 5.7% annual rate does nothing but demonstrate the increasing disconnect between the macroeconomic statistics and the actual economy.

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