Over at Hot Air, my buddy Jazz Shaw looks at the latest GDP and unemployment claims figures and says, “supporters of the President’s economic recovery plan need to hope that this is simply a blip on the recovery radar.”
No, Jazz — last year’s big finish was as good as it gets. Fourth Quarter last year, GDP grew at 2.8%, unexpectedly revised down from 3.2%. Either number is OK for a mature recovery, but a far cry from the 5-7% you expect to get coming out of a major downturn. Three percent is just barely enough to produce a few new jobs, even if they aren’t very good ones.
Last quarter’s GDP growth was an anemic 1.8%, and that’s before Washington unexpectedly revises it downwards in a few weeks. Rising gas and food prices won’t be doing any favors for the current quarter. Already, the “stimulus” is over, and Ben Bernanke said yesterday that he’ll stop printing free money on schedule in June.
So. That was the best of the recovery. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
UPDATE: At OTB, Doug Mataconis is thinking very much the same thing.