If anyone has any questions about the decrepitude of the Obama economy and the “recovery” that never seems to get to “fully recovered,” it was answered today as the Commerce Department announced that GDP had expanded by 0.2 percent during the first three months of the year – that is, growth basically stopped.
This comes off a lousy 2.2 percent increase in the fourth quarter of last year, suggesting the slowdown is endemic and not due to the bad winter – i.e. increased cooling due to global warming – or the alignment of the planets, George W. Bush, the Tea Party, or the Nixon administration.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. economy slowed sharply at the start of the year as businesses slashed investment, exports tumbled and consumers showed signs of caution, marking a return to the uneven growth that has been a hallmark of the nearly six-year economic expansion.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected growth of 1% in the first three months of this year.
The first-quarter figures repeat a common pattern in recent years: one or two strong readings followed by a big slowdown . . . And while most economists expect another second-quarter rebound, some forecasts are muted. Ahead of Wednesday’s GDP release, for example, J.P. Morgan Chase was predicting only a 2.5% pace in the second quarter.
Wednesday’s report showed consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic output, decelerated to a 1.9% pace in the first quarter, down from 4.4% growth in the fourth quarter.
Households last year were buoyed by strong job growth and tumbling gasoline prices. But fuel costs have crept up since the start of the year and the labor market appeared to downshift in March, damping confidence.
Oh wait a second. The White House did find someone else to blame. FOREIGNERS.
“Economic growth in the first quarter was restrained by factors including, tepid foreign demand and harsh winter weather,” wrote White House Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman. “This report underscores that the U.S. economy is directly affected by the global economy.”
Unfortunately, Furman neglected to mention the actual, primary cause of the slow economic growth.
If you are causing an economic slowdown, please stand up.