lunes, 30 de abril de 2012

"The prettiest horse in the glue factory"

The US economy grew at a 2.2% annualized rate in the first quarter, a rate that only looks good in comparison to Europe's economic performance and the double-dip recessions into which Great Britain and Spain have fallen. In the fourth quarter of 2011, US GDP grew 3.0%.

The decline in the growth rate was not across the board. Personal consumption expenditures accelerated, rising 2.9% in Q1 (up from 2.1% in Q4). Government spending continued to contract (-3.9% in Q1) although at a slower rate than in Q4 (-4.2%). Government spending subtracted from GDP for the sixth consecutive quarter; it cut 0.60 percentage points from growth in Q1. A sharp drop-off in the growth rate of investment (from 22.1% in Q4 to 6.0% in Q1) pulled growth down in the first quarter of 2012. Inventories  contributed 1.81 percentage points to growth in Q4; in Q1, they contributed only 0.59 percentage points. Non-residential fixed investment reduced growth by 0.22 percentage points in Q1; in Q4, it added 0.53 percentage points to growth.

An interesting aside... To see how young US voters rank the importance of different issues, see the summary of Harvard University's Institute of Politics' "Survey of Young Americans' Attitudes Towards Politics and Public Service: 21st edition" at the following link:

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