Economic Growth Slows to a Crawl in First Quarter
Here is another prime example of reporting as usual from the LA Times. The gist: The economy is growing but not fast enough. Don Lee writes, “The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy expanded at a mere 0.1% annual pace in the first three months of the year, one of the weakest rates of growth in the nearly 5-year-old recovery.” Nothing but depressing news as exemplified by words like “mere” and “weakest”. We’re still wondering where it’s set in stone that the economy has to be constantly growing for all to be right in the world. But somehow that idea is lodged in people’s brains.
And like most articles of this nature, there is then a turn…a glimmer of optimism to keep us hopeful and spending. “Economists, however, are expecting growth to turn back up in the current quarter and strengthen as the year progresses.”
“…households are better positioned to spend more, with their debts pared down, credit a little more available and the housing and stock markets having added to their wealth.” This can also be read as, “people are buying more stuff (which implicitly means more resources are being used up), they’re doing it with money they don’t have, and more houses are being built.” Grow baby grow.
But it’s never really quite apparent how much growth is needed to constitute “good news”. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it’s news…
And oddly enough, the media and economists are blaming the slowdown on the weather. Funny thing about that, keep promoting this production-consumption-growth as usual, the weather is only going to get worse. Anyone who is relying on “seasonal norms” to stabilize their economic growth is going to be sorely disappointed. It’s time to set our priorities in a different direction.
Image Source | Bureau of Economic Analysis
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