Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ruh-roh: U.S. economy shrinks due to govt. spending drop

Source: Washington Post Wonkblog
The slight fall in the Gross Domestic Product from October 1 to December 31 last year resulted in part from a 6.6 percent decline in government spending -- and from a fall in exports.

This is what you get with job-killing trade deals and government austerity.

Reuters reports,
The economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, suffering its first decline since the recession ended more than three years ago as businesses scaled back on restocking and government spending plunged. 
Gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent annual rate after growing at a 3.1 percent clip in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. 
That was the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009 and showed the economy entering the new year with no momentum, but economists cautioned against reading too much into the decline in output...
Government spending tumbled at a 6.6 percent rate, as defense outlays plunged at a 22.2 percent pace, wiping out the previous quarter's gains. 
Calculated Risk notes that the trade deficit also contributed to the decline:
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).
@CAPCongress tweeted:
Wow, GDP decline of 0.1% largely result of 6.6% decline in govt spending. This is what austerity brings you.
Or as Rick Santelli said:
We are now Europe.