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U.S. Economic Growth Weakest in 5 Years

by Pamela Leavey

This morning it was like waking to a nightmare come true, as I read the “Breaking News” headline on MSNBC that economic growth was the weakest in 5 years. My vision was blurry from not enough sleep so I decided to crawl back into bed, rather than read the bad news that I already knew was true.

I’ve been saying here for some time now, as a small business owner that the economy sucks. And, I don’t really need any economic reports to tell me this, because I have my own economic indicator with my business that tells me that consumers simply aren’t buying like they used too.

The government cut in half its estimate of economic growth in the first quarter, reporting the slowest rate of expansion since the end of 2002.

Before today’s numbers were released by the Commerce Department, it was clear the economy was downshifting from the rapid 5.6 percent expansion of the first quarter last year. But the new data reinforced how significant the slowdown has been.

Just take a look at the graph below and you can see the figures for the first quarter this year are bleak compared to previous years, yet, economists who “agree that the first quarter was probably a low point for the last several years,” say they “expect the economy has regained some strength in the second quarter.”

What the heck are they smoking? Gas prices rose to all new highs this month, the first month of the second quarter, is that what they are basing higher spending on, because with people putting more money into their gas tanks, many folks are sure as hell not out spending on extravagances and some can barely afford the necessities.

I’m not holding my breath that the economy will get better in the next few months. And I know plenty of small business owners who feel the same way. Times are tough for many in America despite the rosy picture BushCo likes to paint. And the reason times are tough is BushCo. The end of his reign can’t come fast enough for me.

Fester weighs in on Newshoggers about the economy saying: “Nice Economy, really it is.”

6 Responses to “U.S. Economic Growth Weakest in 5 Years”

  1. Perchance you should stop for a moment and do two things:

    1) Realize that 90% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years. 95% of those new businesses are “small businesses.” As a result, small business owners are unlikely to have objective sense of what’s happening in the economy.

    2) Present more of the picture. For instance, you made a big deal about the Dow drop back at the end of February. Yet have nothing to say about yesterday’s record high? Hmmmm…. New jobless claims have fallen for the sixth time in the last seven weeks Hmmm….

    Of course, good news during a Republican Administration doesn’t support your paradigm, so it just gets filtered out.

    CruisingTroll says hasta la bye bye.

  2. Crusing Troll

    1) I’ve been in business for 12 years, and know full well “that 90% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years.” You might try not talking down to someone

    2)Indeed the majority of “small businesses” in America are just that, “small businesses” and small business is actually the cornerstone of the American economy. Or was until corporate whores starting taking over.

    3) The media picture this afternoon is that the downturn is just a bump in the road. This morning it was “Breaking News.” What changed that – no doubt pressure from BushCo to not paint such a bleak picture. The American public knows what’s going on with the economy.

    Cruise along and don’t bother to come back with your right wing spin…

  3. CruisingTroll: If there were figures showing that the economy is higher under the growth rate since Bush came to office than it would have been under the growth rate of the Clinton years, you surely would have shared those.

    Just from population growth alone, every year should be a new record. Add in education and technology and every year should also set a new record in “per capita” numbers. Those years when no new record is set are not good years, and Bush has had more than his share of under performance.

    As for where we are and where we’re going next, everything hinges on the fallout from the bursting of the housing bubble. Some of the smart money says that the worst is past, and some smart money says that it is not nearly so. Foreclosures are up and both sales and median sales price are down. Year over year figures on one housing index released earlier this week were down for the first time since 1991 (not coincidentally the other Bush administration).

    Economic statistics can be found to support almost any point of view, but if prosperity is not reaching most people then conditions are not good, and other than Wall Street I don’t really see anyone celebrating.

  4. 1) I’ve been in business for 12 years, and know full well “that 90% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years.” You might try not talking down to someone – Pamela

    If you know that, then you know that a substantial number of the other small businesses you’re speaking with are failing, regardless of the economy. Hence, blaming it on Bush is unjustified.

    Cruise along and don’t bother to come back with your right wing spin… Right Wing spin? Perhaps, once again, you should consider what I’ve written. I did not advance any conclusions regarding the state of the economy, merely challenged the insufficient grounds you use for your conclusions.

    As for “spin”, methinks this qualifies as spin:
    What changed that – no doubt pressure from BushCo to not paint such a bleak picture

    Economic statistics can be found to support almost any point of view,
    Truth proclaimed.

  5. Cruising Troll

    9 out of 10 times that I post my opinion of the economy someonecomes along and attempts to dispute that with what I would consider right wing talking points. Having been in business for 12 years I talk to enough small business owners on a regular basis who agree that the economy sucks.

    Commonly the American public blames the current administration when the economy is in the dumps and not themselves.

    Thank you for sharing you can run along now.

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