Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.
Yet, there are still a lot of people who are not in the labor force. Many who are working who haven’t seen any improvement in their economic fortunes for the last six years, and longer. A troubling number of young people who have more debt than prospects.
So it is disturbing when Bloomberg reports that:
The economy in the U.S. expanded at a slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter as cooling business investment, a slump in government outlays and a widening trade gap took some of the luster off the biggest gain in consumer spending in almost nine years. Gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate after a 5 percent gain in the third quarter that was the fastest since 2003, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance.
So the question now is:
Will the recovery … well, recover?