I am not an economist, so I cannot comment in depth as to the “real” meaning and consequences of what I believe is some real good news that I read this morning about our economy, our country.
The New York Times and several other publications report that the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in over six years during the last quarter:
Gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter, well above analysts’ expectations. It had grown at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent in the previous quarter. Analysts had forecast annualized growth of 4.8 percent in the quarter.
The biggest lift to economic activity came because businesses ran down their stockrooms at a much slower rate than they had earlier in the year. The change in inventories added 3.39 percentage points to the fourth-quarter change.
Regrettably, the job market is still dismal: “On net, the economy lost 208,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last quarter.”
Perhaps the most promising trend, at least for job growth, to come out of Friday’s report was the pickup in equipment and software spending. Businesses increased their investment in these areas at an annualized rate of 13.3 percent last quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the third quarter.
I look forward to posts and comments by our more knowledgeable contributors and readers as to what this development really means—hopefully without too much politics.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.