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  1. #1
    Good Enough ZORBA5150's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:01 AM
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    Default GDP GREW 4.8% IN THE FIRST QUARTER

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060428/..._ec_fi/economy

    Economy Rebounds Smartly in 1st Quarter By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
    13 minutes ago



    WASHINGTON - Casting off an end-of-year lethargy, the U.S. economy bounded ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 4.8 percent pace, the fastest growth rate in 2 1/2 years.


    The latest report on the economy, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, showed that consumers, businesses and government all did their part in terms of robust spending and investment to spur a healthy pace of growth in the January-to-March quarter.

    The 4.8 percent increase in the gross domestic product marked a vast improvement from the feeble 1.7 percent annual rate registered in the final quarter of 2005, when fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricanes, including high energy prices, prompted people and companies to tighten their belts.

    The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the economy's fitness.

    The first quarter's performance — the best showing since the third quarter of 2003 — was close to economists' expectations. Before the report was released, private analysts were forecasting the economy to clock in at a 4.9 percent growth rate.

    A recent spate of good economic reports, however, hasn't helped President Bush's standing with the public. He is shouldering his lowest-ever job approval rating, at 36 percent, according to an AP-Ipsos poll.

    Even with the economy zipping ahead in the first quarter, inflation actually moderated.

    An inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve showed that core prices — excluding food and energy — rose by 2 percent, down from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

    The inflation reading, however, was taken before oil prices zoomed to a record high of more than $75 a barrel last week. Although prices have retreated since then, they still remain high.

    A separate report from the Labor Department suggested that the strenghtening job market isn't fanning inflation. Employers' cost to hire and retain workers — wages and benefits — rose by 0.6 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace in seven years. That mostly reflected less generous benefit packages.

    To keep inflation at bay, the Fed is expected to boost interest rates again at its May 10 meeting, which would mark the 16th increase since June 2004. But after that, the central bank could take a break — perhaps temporarily — in its 2-year-old rate raising campaign, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested Thursday.

    Bernanke and other Fed policymakers indicated that they want to proceed with caution because they don't want to hurt economic activity by pushing rates up too high.

    In the first quarter, consumers — critical players in the shape of the overall economy — got their spending back in a more-normal groove. They boosted spending at a brisk rate of 5.5 percent, compared with paltry 0.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter. The first quarter's increase, the biggest since the third quarter of 2003, was led by spending on big-ticket goods such as cars.

    Another force helping the economy in the first quarter was business investment. Business spending on equipment and software grew at a whopping rate of 16.4 percent, the largest gain since the first quarter of 2000. Businesses also ratcheted up investment on buildings and plants. Such capital investment is another key to the economy's continued good performance.

    With businesses feeling better about the economy, hiring has picked up. In March, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent, matching January's — the lowest in 4 1/2 years.

    Government spending also supported economic growth in the first quarter. This spending went up at a 3.9 percent pace, a turnaround from a 0.8 percent dip in the fourth quarter. Spending was strong at the federal level for both defense and non-defense. At the state and local level, government spending was flat.

    Elsewhere in the GDP report, Americans' personal savings — savings as a percentage of after-tax income — dipped to negative 0.5 percent in the first quarter as consumer spending outpaced income growth. In the prior quarter, the savings rate stood at negative 0.2 percent.

    Looking ahead, Bernanke said he expects the economy's growth to moderate in coming quarters but still be sufficiently strong to generate decent job growth. Risks to the mostly positive outlook, he said, could come from any prolonged runup in energy prices and sharp drop in housing activity. For now, neither scenario is envisioned.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:08 AM
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    I blame Bush that the rate was not at 10%.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    I know I spent more than I used to. $40 a tank!

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.13.17 @ 04:16 PM
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    Funny that nobody wants to comment on "good news".

  5. #5
    Good Enough Phatie's Avatar
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    When I saw the headline I thought 'INFLATION' and remembered my CD I invested in last month is only earning 4.25% which barely keeps up with inflation. I did not see this as good news at all because it means the wallets have too much spending $ and that weakens the currency that's out there. I would prefer to be the only person with extra spending $, but that's because I'm a typical tunnel-vision American who thinks only of ME.

  6. #6
    Good Enough ZORBA5150's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:01 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic
    Funny that nobody wants to comment on "good news".
    Of course not, only when something bad happens that can be blamed on Bush.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Is that what conservatism has become? Mindless cheerleading and a sunny outlook?

 

 

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