May 1, 2012

The Economy Is Expanding, but at a Pretty Sorry Rate

Bruce Yandle

Distinguished Adjunct Fellow
Summary

Several key economic reports will come out this week including the Institute for Supply Management indexes, auto sales, construction spending, and the monthly job numbers. After Friday's announcement of the first estimate for first quarter gross domestic product growth generated some interesting news headlines, it's easy to see why someone might be confused about how the economy is doing.

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This excerpt was originally published in US News and World Report. Read the full text here

Several key economic reports will come out this week including the Institute for Supply Management indexes, auto sales, construction spending, and the monthly job numbers. After Friday's announcement of the first estimate for first quarter gross domestic product growth generated some interesting news headlines, it's easy to see why someone might be confused about how the economy is doing.

One of the more pessimistic headlines came from The Wall Street Journal. It compared the fourth quarter's 3 percent growth rate to Friday's 2.2 percent growth estimate for the first quarter and announced: "Slowing Growth Stirs Recovery Fears."  However, theSan Francisco Chronicle published a more accurate headline: "Consumer Spending Propels 2.2% First Quarter Expansion."