Where Is The Economy Going?

    April 30, 2005

Well at least bond traders are happy. Other investors see a flat to sliding economy based on the latest data.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the U.S. economy only grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate while consumers and businesses lessened spending because of rising prices. Can you say INFLATION?Wall Street economists had predicted the first quarter GDP to grow at a 3.6 percent rate.

The personal consumption expenditures index gained at a 2.2 percent annual rate. The is up from the last years final quarter which was a 1.7 percent rate. This is a sure sign that inflation is on the move.

In another report, the Labor Department said that the number of Americans filing jobless claims increased by 21,000 last week to 320,000. This is another not-so-good sign that the economy may be in less than stellar shape. However, most economists don’t believe the U.S. is heading for a recession.

I think we have to get used to slower growth numbers,” said Nigel Gault, U.S. economist at Global Insight Inc., an economic research and forecasting firm.

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