Should We Be Worried?
1:08 PM, May 30, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Yesterday’s GDP report was treated – by the administrations and its supporters in and out of the media – as an outlier. A good number would have been 3 percent growth, which is what the experts at places like Goldman Sachs had been predicting back when the quarter was still young and hopes were high. Then, the first report from the Commerce Department had the economy treading water, barely, at 0.1 percent growth. Prior to the revision released yesterday by Commerce, expectations were for a negative number in the half of a percent range.
It came in at negative one percent.
And was quickly shrugged off as an anomaly. Fault of the weather. Too cold for commerce ... by a full four percent. Interesting to speculate on just what the reaction would have been if this had occurred during a Romney administration. But, of course, that is a dead-end trail. And, who knows, maybe it was just the weather. Maybe the number for this quarter will blow the door off its hinges.
But … maybe not.
This morning’s disappointment comes, as Shobhana Chandra of Bloomberg reports, in the form of:
The decline was, of course, unexpected and it will be hard to make a case that it was caused by the weather.
And there are other troubling signs that the 1st quarter may not have been, strictly, a cold-weather contraction.
As Ben Casselman of 538 writes:
And, as Heidi Moore at the Guardian points out:
But the weather is much nicer. There is that.
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