But just how bad was the first quarter for the American economy? Commerce Department GDP came in at .1 percent growth, which is treading water, but barely. Speculation had the revised figures showing that the economy actually contracted and now, as Ben Leubsdorf of the Wall Street Journal reports, we are seeing numbers that validate these fears:
Incorporating … new data, J.P. Morgan ChaseJPM +0.06% on Tuesday estimated GDP contracted at a 0.8% rate in the first quarter. Macroeconomic Advisers put the contraction at 0.7%. Barclays Capital predicted a 0.6% decline. Pierpont Securitiesestimated output fell at a 0.4% rate. Action Economics estimated a 0.2% decline.
The good news is that the second quarter number is expect to be better and possibly even much better. Still … it has been a long, slow, uneven recovery that has featured many false dawns.