How Good Is That 3.4? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How Good Is That 3.4?

A lot of folks on the right are pretty happy that the economy grew at a rate of 3.4 percent last quarter. Look a little closer, though, and the GDP numbers are a bit more mixed.

Private invesment grew by 3.1 percent, ending its three-quarter slide. That’s good news because it is investment that drives much job growth. On the bad side, consumer spending slipped to 1.3 percent. Hope that doesn’t continue. The last time we had consequetive quarters of consumers spending lower than 2 percent was during the recession of 2001.

The growth rates for private investment and consumption are both lower than the total growth rate of 3.4 percent. So what is making up the difference? Government spending, which grew by 4.2 percent last quarter. Thus, government’s share of the economy, at least for the 2nd quarter of 2007, is growing faster than the private share.

Looked at that way, that 3.4 percent just doesn’t seem all that exciting.

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