5:09 PM, Apr 30, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
After yesterday’s disappointing GDP number (it grew by a meager .2% in the last quarter) we got this from Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors:
"This quarter was only the fourth in 60 years on record with three or more snowstorms sufficiently severe to be rated by the National Climatic Data Center's Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale. In addition, as measured by heating degree days, this quarter was the third coldest in 20 years. Indeed, winter weather likely reduced both consumption and investment, contributing to this quarter's below-trend output growth."
Mr. Furman sounds more like a meteorologist for a local television station than an economist. Heating degree days?
Also, since the end of the great recession, growth has averaged about half of what it had been over the previous seventy years. Tough to hang that on the weather.
12:01 AM, Apr 4, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The economy might, but only might, be slowing. In March we added only 126,000 jobs, the lowest increase since December 2013, barely enough to absorb new entrants into the workforce. Almost all measures of the health of the labor market -- the unemployment rate, the number of workers jobless for more than 27 weeks, the number involuntarily working short hours or too discouraged to continue looking for a job -- remain more or less stuck at present levels.
3:20 PM, Apr 3, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Expectations were for more than 200,000 new jobs. The report, this morning, crushed those expectations. In the old fashioned sense of “crushed.” As Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner writes:
11:12 AM, Mar 27, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Bloomberg reports that:
The U.S. economy expanded at 2.2 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter, led by the biggest gain in consumer spending in eight years.
9:50 AM, Mar 25, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Water, Water Everywhere
And in some places in drought-ravished California even where it proves an embarrassment.
11:36 AM, Feb 26, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The recovery may be slowing and the end of the Fed’s QE efforts receding further into the future.
9:38 AM, Feb 25, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Obama administration’s line on the economy appears to be that it has finally turned the corner and things are truly humming. And maybe so. But there are signs of trouble amid all the good cheer.
3:36 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The first number in a week that will produce many of them, culminating with monthly non-farm payrolls, is not promising for the recovery.