With Shambles Like These, Who Needs Booms?
While it wasn't enough to offset the oil-driven market sell-off inspired by spooky comments from OPEC and Libya, today's final revision of first quarter GDP growth warrants a little acknowledgment. First estimated at 0.6%, it was revised upward to 0.9% a month ago and up again to an even 1.0% today.
The increase matched economists' expectations, but it's still a cause for incremental celebration. GDP grew by just 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2007, so the first quarter growth estimate has gone from slow-and-unchanged at 0.6% to slowish-but-nearly-doubling-the-previous-quarter's-pace at 1.0%. What's more, the year-over-year growth rate (1Q08 over 1Q07) clocked in at 2.55%, swifter than the full year 2007 growth rate of 2.2%.
The fact that the economy is not only growing, but accelerating, should come as welcome news to pretty much everyone, save Obama and the Associated Press. Recall that it was during the first quarter that Obama so often defamed our economy as being in shambles. And as we've explored time and again in our "Lies, Damn Lies" series, good economic news tends to ulcerate the AP into fantastical canards and distortions.
Today is no different. Have a look at the AP story inspired in part by this upward revision to the growth rate of our clearly non-recessionary economy.
Stocks tumble as more bad economic news piles up
The great fear on the Street has been that rising prices and worries about their finances will force consumers to further curb their spending, sending the economy into even more of a decline.
The latest reading on the gross domestic product Thursday backed up that fear. The Commerce Department said the economy as measured by GDP rose at 1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, a slight improvement from the previous estimate of 0.9 percent, but still quite anemic. Moreover, the number does not reflect the impact of higher gas and oil prices that shot up further during the second quarter, which ends Monday.
This story makes me puzzle until my puzzler is sore. Stronger real GDP growth backs up inflation fears? Real means inflation-adjusted, professors. And the nearly doubling growth rate since the prior quarter somehow supports the idea that the economy will pitch into "even more of a decline"? The economy's not in decline to begin with. It hasn't seen a single quarter of decline since the shallow recession we entered during the final months of the Clinton administration.
Clumsy, disingenuous work, AP. Even for you. And you want to charge people $2.50 a word for quoting this rot?
Handcrafted by Flip on June 26, 2008 |
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