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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:25 AM

US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3˝ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor

US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3˝ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The drop occurred despite stronger consumer spending and business investment.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That was a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

Economists said the drop in gross domestic product wasn’t as bleak as it looked. The weakness was mainly the result of one-time factors. Government spending cuts and slower inventory growth, which can be volatile, subtracted a total of 2.6 percentage points from GDP.

But the fact that the economy shrank at all, combined with much lower consumer confidence reported Tuesday, may raise fears about the economy’s durability in 2013. That’s because deep automatic government spending cuts will cut into domestic and defense programs starting in March unless Congress reaches a deal to avert them.

- more -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/us-economy-shrinks-01-pct-first-time-in-3--years-deep-cut-in-defense-spending-key-factor/2013/01/30/9dc71c80-6ae1-11e2-9a0b-db931670f35d_story.html

Anyone get the sense that a push is being made to avoid defense cuts associated with sequestration?

Comments on Q4 GDP and Investment

by Bill McBride

The Q4 GDP report was negative, with a 0.1% annualized decline in real GDP, and lower than the expected 1.0% annualized increase. Final demand increased in Q4 as personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased at a 2.2% annual rate (up from 1.6% in Q3), and residential investment increased at a 15.3% annual rate (up from 13.5% in Q3).

Investment in equipment and software rebounded in Q4 (increased at 12.4% annualized rate), and investment in non-residential structures was slightly negative.

The slight decline in GDP was related to changes in private inventories (subtracted 1.27 percentage points), less Federal Government spending (subtracted 1.25 percentage points), and a negative contribution from trade (subtracted 0.25 percentage points).

Overall this was a weak report, but with some underlying positives (the increase in PCE and private fixed investment). I expect the payroll tax increase to slow PCE growth in the first half of 2013 - and for additional government austerity - but I think the economy will continue to grow this year.

- more -

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/01/comments-on-q4-gdp-and-investment.html


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Reply US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3˝ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor (Original post)
ProSense Jan 2013 OP
sadbear Jan 2013 #1
ProSense Jan 2013 #3
Arctic Dave Jan 2013 #2
ProSense Jan 2013 #4
Motown_Johnny Jan 2013 #5
ProSense Jan 2013 #6
Motown_Johnny Jan 2013 #7

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:28 AM

1. More trickle-down bullshit.

What's good for the wealthy defense contractors is good for everyone else. Fuck'em. That's a part of the economy we can do without.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:36 AM

3. Exactly!

The GOP/MSM tell us that spending is out of control and needs to be cut. Defense is a good place to cut.

Everyone should be happy.

Cut them some more.

I mean, if people are going to push spending cuts, the bloated defense budget should be top priority.



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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:29 AM

2. Someone doesn't want the pork to end. nt

 

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:06 AM

4. Yeah, and they'll find a few gullibles. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:14 AM

5. Caused by Government Spending Cuts.

Government Spending Cuts caused the reduction in growth.

An economic slow down caused by Government Spending Cuts.



There must be 100 ways to phase that.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:19 AM

6. Maybe Republicans will see the light. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:22 AM

7. We can hope, but don't hold your breath. n/t

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