Thursday, June 26, 2003

Now we hear that the sluggish 1.9% growth rate in 2003:I GDP was actually a languid 1.4%. This means the US economy didn't even register a mini-zag in 2003:I. As the General said at the end of May,
it looks like the yo-yo swings which provided at least some growth in 2002 are now over. Come, gentle reader, and step back in time with me to the recession of 2001, in which GDP fell three consecutive quarters (2001:I to 2001:III). Since then, GDP growth has zigged into significantly positive territory (e.g. 2002:I, 2002:III) and zagged into sluggish growth (e.g. 2002:II, 2002:IV). Now the US economy is coming off a significant zag (2002:IV) during which GDP grew just 1.37% annualized, but got no zig the following quarter as it had throughout 2002. And 1.88% is good news?
In fact, GDP has now zagged two quarters in a row. Amazingly, 2002 is looking downright robust in comparison to the last 6 months.

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