May 27, 2004

Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal Sends Economy Into Tailspin
By the way, the GDP grew 4.4% in the first quarter

— Ace

1Q GDP growth revised up to 4.4%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter of this year, slightly faster than previously thought and fresh evidence that the recovery possessed good momentum as it headed into the current quarter.

The increase in gross domestic product from January through March reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday marked an improvement from both the 4.2 percent pace first estimated for the quarter a month ago and the 4.1 percent growth rate registered in the final quarter of 2003.

The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States. While the latest reading was just shy of the 4.5 percent pace that some analysts were forecasting, it nevertheless represented a solid performance.

It may be revised again. I'm still looking for 4.5% or 4.6%.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that new applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week by a seasonally adjusted 3,000 to 344,000, another hopeful sign for a labor market recovery.

...

Although consumers and the federal government did their part to support the economy in the first quarter, the better reading on GDP for the period in large part reflected stronger investment by businesses to build up inventories, a good sign that companies are more confident about the economy's prospects.

From April to June, the economy is expected to grow at a rate in the range of 4.5 percent to 5 percent, according to some analysts.

...

The country has lost a net 1.5 million jobs since Bush took office in January 2001, something Kerry points to as evidence that the president's economic policies aren't working. But Bush says they are, and that the best way to create jobs is to make the economy stronger.

Hmmm. Finally someone in the media revised that "2.3 million lost jobs" figure downwards. I think we've only lost a net of 1 million jobs, though. 2.3 million minus 1.3 million equals 1 million.

Moderate Cowbell:

Posted by: Ace at 08:29 AM | Comments (11)
Post contains 372 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I know that the media largely goes out of its way to make Bush look as bad as possible, but why haven't more people caught on to the idea that the loss of jobs in Bush's first year could in no way be his fault? I mean c'mon! Recession + 9/11? We're lucky we didn't go into a Depression. All the losses can be laid at the feet of the bubble bursting + 9/11! Argh!!

Posted by: Brock at May 27, 2004 08:35 AM (9hJ/S)

2 Holy crap, is that a 8%+ growth rate i see in the 3rd quarter of 2003?!?

Posted by: madne0 at May 27, 2004 11:45 AM (Sl+Oy)

3 You're such a geek with your fixation on GDP numbers.

You also have it precisely backwards: The numbers will not sway voters. They don't care about numbers. What they care about is their personal economic prospects, and that's what may influence their voting.

But nothing the New York Times writes or hides about numbers will influence the election. It may be journalists think so, but that doesn't make it so. So, relax about the numbers, and how they're reported. The numbers are -- to use a geeky expression -- lagging indicators of voter sentiment, and not always very reliable at that.

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