Covering the Economy: January 27 GDP Advance Release: LA Times Story
The LA Times Saturday morning story:
GDP Data Are Weak and, Many Say, Off Base - Los Angeles Times : By Bill Sing, Times Staff Writer: The U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly weak 1.1% annual rate in the last three months of 2005, the Commerce Department said Friday, but many analysts said the economy was more robust than reported and would rebound in the current quarter. The fourth-quarter growth swoon was blamed largely on sluggish auto sales, surprisingly slow growth in business spending, a surge in imports and a drop in spending by the federal government. Hurricane damage and high energy costs took their toll on consumers and businesses, analysts said.
Growth in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of U.S. economic output, fell far below the 2.8% predicted by economists and the 4.1% pace of the third quarter. It was the slowest growth rate since the 0.2% posted in the fourth quarter of 2002, when the economy was struggling to recover from the 2001 recession. A closely watched measure of inflation also rose, nearing a level seen as worrisome to Federal Reserve policymakers. The report came at a time when polls show that many Americans are skeptical about the economy's strength. A nationwide Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, released Thursday, said 59% of respondents disapproved of the way President Bush was handling the economy. The Bush administration and many experts, however, expressed doubt at the accuracy of the latest growth report, suggesting that it was at odds with other economic data. They predicted that the numbers would be revised upward.