We need 3% real economic growth to do marginally better than treading water.
We need 4% to get back on track and the jobs back that we've lost.
So what do we get? 1.7% growth in the second quarter of 2012.
U.S. GDP Revised Up Slightly has the details:
"U.S. economic output increased a little more than initially thought in the
second quarter, though the overall pace suggests growth will remain sluggish
ahead of November's presidential election.
The nation's gross domestic product--the broadest measure of goods and
services produced in the U.S.--grew at an annual rate of 1.7% between April and
June, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. . . .
The Obama administration has highlighted continued growth out of the depths
of a recession that began under a Republican administration. GDP has expanded
for 12 consecutive quarters.
Still, unemployment remains above 8% and the economy has slowed from the
first quarter's 2.0% and the fourth quarter's 4.1% annual growth rate,
complicating Mr. Obama's efforts to win a second term.
While politicians debate appropriate responses to slow growth, officials at
the Federal Reserve are weighing another round of stimulus.
In minutes of their latest meeting, released a week ago, officials signaled
that they are readying new measures to boost the recovery unless data point to
"a substantial and sustainable" pickup in activity.
The Fed's policy makers next meet formally on Sept. 12 and 13. In the
meantime, Chairman Ben Bernanke may offer new insight on the central bank's
thinking when he speaks Friday at its Jackson Hole, Wyo., conference.
Wednesday's report offered some latitude for the Fed to act. The price index
for personal consumer expenditures--the Fed's preferred gauge for
inflation--rose a modest 0.7% from the previous quarter. Year-over-year
inflation is up 1.7%, below the Fed's 2% target.
Stripping out volatile food and energy, the price index for personal consumer
expenditures rose 1.8% from the prior quarter.
The revision to second-quarter GDP figures follows better-than-expected
exports, fewer imports and stronger personal consumption. The improved consumer
spending, though, partly reflected heavier outlays for services like electricity
and natural gas rather than goods.
Government spending has been a drag on the economy--though not as much as
Other areas were weaker. Business spending was revised lower on smaller
Real final sales--GDP less changes in private inventories--increased 2.0% in
the second quarter, down from a 2.4% gain in the prior period.
The latest quarter's small overall gain is consistent with the recovery as a
whole, which is the second-weakest rebound of the post World War II era.
The economy continues to suck.
That will bring calls from the progressives for more government knows best policies and intervention.
That will make things worse, which in turn will bring more calls from the big government guys for more progressive govwernment intervention.
That will make things worse.
And so it will go until the progressives no longer rule the roost, whenever that may be.
More government = slower growth = more deficits and debt = more government = slower growth and so on.
Get the picture? Let's hope the rest of our fellow Americans do, too.