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Good news! The economy probably didn’t shrink last quarter, after all
Remember last week, when the government announced that the U.S. economy had shrunk at an 0.1 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of 2012? That came as a shock to many economists, who were expecting at least modest growth.
Well, perhaps those numbers were wrong. The GDP figures, after all, were only a first-pass estimate. And new trade data released Friday suggests that the U.S. economy actually grew between October and December.
According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. trade deficit fell by 21 percent in December to just $38.6 billion, the smallest in three years. That’s because the country was importing less oil and exporting more of other things — particularly refined petroleum products.
That means growth at the end of 2012 was likely stronger than we thought. When the Bureau of Economic Analysis initially calculated fourth-quarter GDP, it assumed that the U.S. trade deficit had actually widened at the end of the year, to about $557.1 billion. In reality, it had stayed mostly unchanged at about $517 billion. Since exports add to GDP and imports subtract, that means GDP was growing faster than calculated.
As a result, many analysts expect the government to show positive growth when the BEA revises its numbers next month. Capital Economics projects that the U.S. economy actually grew at a 0.2 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter of 2012, while Macroeconomic Advisers is expecting 0.5 percent growth.
That’s still quite weak. But a weakly growing economy is better than a shrinking one.
It appears that the one economic news item that conservatives liked was a mistake. Now conservatives only have bad news.
The logic is flawed. Please factor in the global Q4 GDP dump.
Oh, and between retail sales, cap spending and investment and expectations for increased hiring, they have plenty to "cheer" about. But let's keep that a secret.
What logic is flawed? It is not good news if the economy grows rather than shrinks? I doubt that is what you meant, but it shows how ambiguous your post is.
What does that have to do with the economy shrinking? A short while ago, conservatives figuratively cheered because the economy shrank and they could blame Obama. The link shows how premature that may be.
The assumption that a flat trade deficit = growth is flawed if one factors in global GDP implosion.
You're saying contracting retail sales has nothing to do with the economy shrinking? Damn.
My comment related to your last paragraph.
Celebrating a stagnant, L-shaped, recovery while a lot of the systematic economic flaws are still not fully fixed outside of a few over price band aid solution?
Shit, count me in!
That is not what I am saying (or even writing). The economy did not shrink. If retail sales shrank, then something else expanded. It does not matter what one isolated component did if you know what the cumulative GDP was. One can virtually always look at the GDP and find some component that, in a vacuum, is not as good as other components. Remember, in the last quarter, people were concerned about the fiscal cliff and slowed spending. If have a sequester, Republicans will have been successful torpedoing the economy. If there is no sequester, we likely will do well.
Considering that we are recovering at all given our strong headwinds is a good thing. Did you prefer 2008?
That is a bit of good news.
If anything, that makes staying close to even more impressive.
So I should be happy that NOTHING has been solved from a systematic risk standpoint and we're still at risk of a double dip recession that can mirror... or even EXCEED that or 2008?
You sir, have low standards.
That is what happens with obstruction. No one is telling you when to be happy. You may choose to be happy or miserable. It is a free country.
It is a good day when a conservative is now saying that we are "at risk of a double dip recession."
That is a clear sign things are getting better. There was a time that the board cons/rightists would say that it was certain to happen...along with a Civil War, government run internment camps, war between Israel and Iran, and race wars in the US.
This change in tone is a positive.
Nice deflection... well.... not really.
Also, my assertion of "at risk" is more of a "WHEN" in lieu of an "IF".
The ability to extend and pretend can only last so long when the systematic flaws haven't even been fixed yet. You seem like the type of people who think broken dams can be fixed simply by sticking a finger in the leaking hole.
Can't really comment more on this one seeing as how I'm not a "conservative".
They seem to like that blanket label.
It is a good day when we've gotten to a point at which you can not comment any more.
If your assertion is "WHEN" rather than "IF" then you used the wrong word with "risk." Risk is usually used when certainty is lacking. As far as a double dip recession being worse than 2008 being certain, that is nonsense that is qualified for the Chicken Little Society.
When devoid of any analytical skills or empirical evidences... simply harp on the grammar/ syntax angle and throw in a few broad generalizations and labels.
You emphasized those words. It is clear that it was not a typo. I did not respond to a grammar or syntax error. I responded to the point of your post. If that was meaningless, blame the post to which I responded, yours. Also, I didn't merely point out how ridiculous your comments were. I responded to your post. Ironically, in the post to which I am now responding you offer no analysis or evidence (unless "yawn" is your idea of analysis). You simply throw out an accusation and generalization.
The Master of Empty Rhetoric himself.
As we all know, it make a lot of sense to use a cogent reply to follow up on your posts that are mired with roundabouts and deflections.
Also, Cstory was the one who pointed out that particular word. Not me. And I was addressing, first and foremost, the overall aspect of a double dip recession and not so much the probability of it. But knowing you, you take the most trivial and non-essential parts of a post and try to paint that as the overarching theme. Typical.
You have given nothing of substance. Instead, you deflect by attacking me and you are accusing me of empty rhetoric? I love the irony.
As far as what you or CS wrote, I responded directly to what was written in YOUR post. You capitalized those words. You chose to write those words and sentences. I simply responded to what YOU wrote. You now claim that the words that YOU capitalized (the whole words) were "trivial." If so, why did you capitalize those whole words?
I strongly suggest that you stop shoveling. The hole is getting deeper.
You seem like a kid. Are you presently a student of student age?
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Morethanafan 14 months ago
Swell. Copying what I just said and tweaking a few words. I take it originality isn't exactly a forte you possess.
In terms of word capitalization and word "emphasis", I stated NOTHING was fixed and the possible systematic risk that can trigger another economic downgrade can EXCEED that in 2008... and somehow you deflect and deviate (as you always do) to statistics and a bunch of other unrelated off tangent topics? What, now?
The guy who can't conjure empirical evidence or muster a cogent argument telling me I'm digging a hole? What's next? Convicted prisoners passing judgement on other people's bad behaviors?
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