First-Quarter Economic Growth Requires Perspective

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Apr 30, 2010 2:39 PM
The economy grew 3.2% in the first quarter of this year. In robust economic times, it grows at around 5%. But 3.2% is better than an actual decline, which was entirely possible given the current economic climate.

Importantly, consumer spending was up, by a whopping 3.6%. The White House, of course, was quick to say that the growth came from Obama’s tax refunds, despite that fact that tax refunds are given out during both good and bad economic times. It will also take several quarters of growth before the economy is to a point where we can rest easy.

The housing market is still down, which is bad, but government purchases is down, which is good. The White House, of course, pointed to decreased government purchases as a bad thing.

Obama delivered reactions to the economic news in his Rose Garden speech today, flanked by two manufacturers who happened to be on a hiring spree. I wonder how hard it was for his public relations personnel to find those manufacturers, given that the overall unemployment rate has barely budged – the biggest factor Americans are paying attention to.