GDP Rises to 3.1% in Final Q3 Estimate, But the Main Drivers Won’t Last

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 10:00 am

The economy grew at a faster rate than expected in the third quarter, according to the final revision on GDP released today. GDP increased at a relatively healthy 3.1% clip in Q3, a step up from the 1.3% increase in the final revision in Q2. Both figures are annualized. The Bureau of Economic Analysis explains [...]

We Don’t Have a Deficit Problem, Cont’d

By: Monday December 17, 2012 6:59 am

Paul Krugman takes aim at something that should have been a major talking point for progressives, even if lawmakers couldn’t touch it, for the last four years. There has been a void in talking about the budget deficit in real terms, in what it’s composed of and what it really means. First of all, to [...]

The Case for Adequacy and Economic Growth Rather than Deficit Reduction and “Smart Cuts”

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 8:30 am

Fiscal slope talks have progressed, according to multiple news reports. Nobody’s talking details, which tea leaf-readers are taking as a sign of advancement (I wouldn’t be so sure of that, it seems more like standard back-room negotiating practice). But we do know that both sides are talking. What could they be talking about? Well, we [...]

US GDP Rises to 2.7%

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 6:59 am

The Commerce Department revised its estimate of GDP in the third quarter up to 2.7%, a substantial gain from the initial estimate and an indication that the economy grew at a solid clip in the months leading up to the Presidential election, putting wind at the back of President Obama. This represents the fastest economic [...]

Economic Indicators Still Point to Weak 2013

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:02 am

Morgan Stanley continues to predict a weak 1.4% growth for the US in 2013. I assume some of this pessimism has to do with the potential for a nasty fiscal slope. But this forecast mirrors their previous forecast in September, so nothing has changed in their analysis in the two months where policymakers crept closer [...]

Eurozone Officially Falls Into Double-Dip Recession

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 2:49 pm

The Eurozone experienced its second straight quarter of negative growth in the third quarter of 2012, fulfilling the technical conditions of a recession. This recession is so far mild, with a -0.1% quarter following a -0.2% quarter. This is actually a bit larger than it looks because Europe doesn’t annualize its GDP numbers, so in [...]

Automatic Economic Growth for the Next President? Not So Fast.

By: Monday November 5, 2012 10:09 am

Throughout this election cycle, we’ve heard a good deal of happy talk regarding the state of the economy. Bloomberg comes out and says it today – the economy will improve, regardless of the occupant of the White House. No matter who wins the election tomorrow, the economy is on course to enjoy faster growth in [...]

GDP Increased to 2.0% in the Third Quarter of 2012

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:01 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis rates 3rd quarter GDP with a preliminary estimate of 2.0%, an increase from the previous quarter but not the kind of economic growth normally associated with reducing the unemployment rate in rapid fashion. GDP in the second quarter increased 1.3%, so this represents an acceleration on growth, albeit a modest [...]

Economists: 2013 Another Weak Year for the US Economy

By: Monday October 15, 2012 8:30 am

The US got a good retail sales number for September today, which portends a decent holiday shopping season. But even this indicator led to forecasters predicting a sluggish 1.6% GDP growth for the third quarter. And with electronics up 4.5% for the month, we could simply be seeing an iPhone 5-generated sugar high. This slow [...]

Fiscal Cliff Talks Convene in Washington

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 10:56 am

Members of Congress and the White House have begun to hold more serious talks on the fiscal cliff (actually, fiscal slope is the better term for it, as the fiscal contraction does not all hit right away). Predictably, the talks are focusing on Bush tax cuts, even though the automatic spending cuts and the payroll [...]

Moody’s Follows Other Rating Agencies Into Incoherence About Fiscal Cliff

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 10:53 am

Good to know that the credit rating agencies have learned approximately nothing since last year. Then, they initiated a downgrade of the United States, determining that their debt would be a riskier instrument after the debacle of the debt limit deal. Investors responded by pouring money into US Treasuries and dropping the yields at one [...]

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