Monday, February 4, 2013

U. S. GDP Down Slightly in the Last Quarter –

Reports of Exuberant Republican Celebrations Probably Not Entirely True

The preliminary report on the growth (or in this case the lack thereof) of the GDP in the October to December 2012 quarter is that the U. S. economy shrunk by .1%.

U.S. economic momentum screeched to a halt in the final months of 2012, as lawmakers' struggle to reach a deal on tax increases and budget cuts likely led businesses to pare inventories and the government to cut spending.

The nation's gross domestic product shrank for the first time in 3 1/2 years during the fourth quarter, declining at an annual rate of 0.1% between October and December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

It was the first time the broad measure of all goods and services produced by the economy contracted since the recovery from the financial crisis began. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected 1.0% annualized growth.

A lot of the blame is being put on the uncertainty that the idiots in Congress created over tax policy.

The decline reflects worries about the so-called fiscal cliff. The economy reversed from a 3.1% pace of growth in the third quarter largely because federal government spending fell by 15% and private business, likely fearing slack in demand, let inventories dwindle.

But not to worry, things are pretty good in the U. S. these days, particularly compared to the Europeans who are imposing Republican like austerity programs on the continent and expect growth and prosperity. 

"Think of it as a giant hand holding down the economy," said Tim Hopper, chief economist at TIAA-CREF. "The underlying fundamentals are quite strong."

With the worst effects of the pending budget cuts and tax increases averted after Congress and the White House reached an agreement this month, Mr. Hopper said he expects the economy to return to moderate growth this year.

Don’t expect Republicans to openly rejoice at the bad news, even they are not that transparently insane, but if you look closely you can see the glee on their faces. 

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