Economy hits highest growth five years

(AFP)

The US economy grew at its fastest clip for five years in 2010, the United States Commerce Department reported Friday, as the country bounced back from recession and fears of a double-dip recession ebbed.

Growth hit 2.9 percent for the year, reversing the 2.6 percent contraction seen in 2009.

Releasing figures for the end of what was a turbulent year for the world’s largest economy, officials reported a late surge in consumer spending and an improving trade balance that pumped growth up to 3.2 percent in the last quarter.

Consumer spending grew 4.4 percent over the final three months of the year, while exports rose 8.5 percent.

The White House lauded a “sixth straight quarter of positive growth.”

President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said it was “a further sign that the economy continues to gain momentum as it recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

“We are on the right path, but have a lot more work to do to accelerate growth so that we are creating the jobs we need.”

The prospect of Americans spending, earning and exporting more boosted economists’ hopes that the jobless recovery may be coming to an end, despite the fact that the last quarter’s growth of 3.2 percent missed their expectations.

“The main concern is that growth could remain too weak to stimulate a sufficiently high rate of job creation to reduce stubbornly high unemployment, but today’s GDP data at least take a step in the right direction,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist with Markit.

“Talk of a jobless recovery may prove misplaced in 2011.”

The figures appeared to signal a turning point for the economy, which for much of the year had struggled to escape the recession’s orbit.

Throughout 2010 growth was driven by businesses rebuilding inventories that had been run down during the height of the crisis.

That process — always assumed to be a temporary economic boost — now appears to be coming to be coming to an end.

“Inventory building subtracted 3.7 percentage points (in the fourth quarter) after adding significantly to growth over the previous five quarters,” said Zach Pandl of Nomura.

But economists were encouraged that spending and exports are picking up the slack.

“The bottom line is that we have a healthier mix of components heading into 2011,” said Brian Jones of Societe Generale, citing “a much more favorable mix between final demand and inventories.”

The White House said it would continue to try and encourage that mix.

Goolsbee said the administration would focus on helping businesses “to invest and hire here at home, investing in education and infrastructure, and promoting exports abroad.”

Republicans meanwhile claimed some credit for the rise in growth, after taking control of the House of Representatives earlier this year.

“This uptick is no doubt due in part to the certainty that Washington has given the private sector through the recent tax deal and the newly elected House Republican majority,” the office of House majority leader Eric Cantor said in a statement.
Copyright © 2011 AFP

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25 Responses to "Economy hits highest growth five years"

  1. woody188  January 30, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Wonder how bad they had to fudge the trade numbers to get these figures?

    Anyone want to bet there is a revision to a lower number in a month or two?

    Hate being negative all the time, but I have yet to see a real surge in our neck of the woods.

    • Carl Nemo  January 31, 2011 at 12:19 am

      In 2008 our cummulative trade deficit had grown to a whopping 9 plus trillion dollars. Each month it’s more of the same regardless of minor ups and downs in billions or tenths of such.

      The U.S. produces nothing other than raw materials, the weapons of war and scrap in the form of metals and cardboard the detritus of castoff goods and the packaging in which it was delivered from China, Japan, India, Malaysia and a host of other countries. Scrap and cardboard are the major exports from the ports of Long Beach and New York.

      When you get into deficits of any type starting with the letter T (trillions) each trillion a thousand billion dollars, making it difficult to reverse course. These deficits represent the total trashing of a nation’s manufacturing infrastructure as our leaders have facilitated to date starting with NAFTA, GATT, WTO et al. treaties that facilitate lob-sided free, but not fair trade. They’ve sacrified the U.S. and its people on the unholy altar of the gods of globalism run amok.

      All the figures coming out of D.C. are nothing but smoke and mirror figures; ie, skewed government statistics that have become the order of the day.

      As it’s said “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure”. : |

      http://petemurphy.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/cumulative-us-trade-deficit-soars-to-913-trillion-in-2008/

      Carl Nemo **==

      • logtroll  January 31, 2011 at 9:12 am

        That’s why I buy Chinese foil bubble-pak. End the madness!!

  2. bogofree  January 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

    The press will run with it.

    Republicans will take “credit” for it and control Congress.

    Obama will take “credit” for it and get a second term.

    Then in five to ten years it will go to shyte again.

  3. Almandine  January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Yep… check the Baltic dry Index:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=BDIY:IND

    • Carl Nemo  February 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks Almandine for the B-Index chart. I thought I’d resupply the chart over a 9 year period. People can see the buildup prior to the 2008 bubble bursting with the so-called ‘banking crisis’, then the waterfall failure of the index down to 1000, then a choppy, weak ‘recovery’. Now a failure of the right shoulder of a head and shoulders chart formation settling out at around 1450, but still headed downward to the post crash mark and possibly beyond. This index is not simply indicative of U.S. economic health, but that of the world’s ocean shipping index at large and it doesn’t bode well. I smell depression on the winds.

      http://www.investmenttools.com/futures/bdi_baltic_dry_index.htm

      That’s why Ben Bernanke is printing money like there’s no tomorrow hoping beyond all hope to reinflate and bring us out of this ‘death spiral’ towards worldwide depression. These guys don’t realize with the world’s premier consumer; ie., the U.S. having its job market trashed over a 20 year period resulting in tens of million plus people out of work, max’d out credit cards, repossessed homes that there’s little stomach or hope for buying more “stuff” to feed upon all the easy money that’s being created out of thin air. On top of it traumatized non-center banks at the state and local level aren’t lending at least to any consequence. They’ve been burned badly and aren’t all to eager to jump back in regardless of the urgings of our ‘challenged’ leadership. They simply don’t get it! Why so? Hey they are livin’ large on the taxpayers dime and time. They live in an alternate reality to the folks on main street, that’s why their vision for America is both skewed and screwed. Seemingly we are doomed with mattoids such as these at the helm of state. : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Almandine  February 2, 2011 at 10:58 am

        what’s interesting in that series of charts is the impression that the “stimulus” was actually able to improve commerce up until it ran out last year. Also interesting that world shipping is at about the level it was soon after the dot-com bubble burst. The difference between then and now??? How about triple the unemployment rate…

        • Carl Nemo  February 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

          Another thing to notice from the chart Al is the massive divergence between gold, copper, soybeans, oil and the CRB (Commodity Research Bureau Index) which tracks a basket of commodities.

          Even the S&P 500 is skewed and is quite scary to beyhold vs. the B-Index because it means alot of unsophisticated investors are going to be taken out again no differently then a the tail end of 2008 into the spring ’09’ except their won’t be any bounce back this time, but a relentless dive to a new low with trillions again being wiped out within a few weeks or less.

          The reason is due to the devaluation of the USD as a result of Bernanke’s rabid printing of USD’s via his QE scam causing a price push in these basics. Increase in pricing of basic commodities will cause a dampening effect in terms of demand regardless of need. These financial mattoids who’ve graduated from some of the finest universities have managed to skew the entire paradigm of healthy markets where price and value shake hands in order to close a transaction. The Fed once inflation fighters have become desperate deflation fighters, but seeminly have a major disconnect when it comes to equating unemployment (low demand) to the supply side of the equation; ie., abundance (no true shortages) supported by synthesized inflation due to legally enfranchised counterfeiting.

          What they need to do is keep their mitts off the printing press and in fact start drying up the excess they’ve created in order to increase the value of the dollar so our citizens bucks will go further in the market place thus balancing out the price of goods and services to stimulate demand again along with the hopeful creation of more jobs to supply such.

          I’m sure Bernanke was appointed by the Bushistas with a plan in mind; ie., to create massive desperation and to hopefully destroy the dollar so they can usher in their dream of a one world currency. That’s why you hear these international bankers and leaders screaming for a new currency. It’s all part of a grand scheme and it isn’t good for us or the maintenance of our freedom, independence and our Constitutional Republic.

          Carl Nemo **==

          • Almandine  February 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

            Yeah, pity the poor fools who follow the lead of the Fed, et al… as I think the Dow and S&P, in particular, are churned so as to make the “stock market” attractive again.

  4. Fivebyfives  February 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I think Twain said “there are three kinds of lies…lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    These figures touted by the government are at best a half-truth. If, for example, almost half of the entire GDP of the U.S. is involved in finance, then spout all the marvelous “growth” figures you want. It’s concentrated, and in the wrong place. In a nutshell, the American labor force has gone from making dishwashers to washing dishes. Sure, it’s a “job” but the devil is in the details. Like what kind of jobs are out there. If the private sector produces 100,000 jobs in a month, but 80% are either Walmart or Waffle House, then where is the growth in incomes?

    I’m just saying that when I hear of how great the economy is growing, it’s like holding a rope to a Macey’s parade float. I can see it expanding, but I’m not any part of it.

    We just hold onto our ropes and hope for the best. This is part of the “hope and change” that President Smirk promised.

    • Carl Nemo  February 2, 2011 at 1:24 am

      Spot-on analysis and so stated Fivebyfives. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine  February 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

      It’s also important to remember that the GDP includes govt spending. That’s why QE, QE2, next QE3… etc., are so important – to keep the illusion of “growth” alive. Oh, and let’s not forget inflation, which increases GDP numbers without any extra commerce being conducted… the same amount only costs more – again more “growth” – than before.

      Liars, damn liars, statisticians… POLITICIANS.

      • Almandine  February 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

        Forgot BANKERS !

  5. b mcclellan  February 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Climb the rope or just hang on ?
    Blasto question Fives.
    Where is that confounded rope ?
    As you say Sir, hemp done reverted to spatula.

    Smirk was the precedent occupier,
    perhaps you allude to the Mighty Grin ?

    • logtroll  February 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Ha, Ha, Ha! I understand you, for once, mein Cryptoid!

    • Fivebyfives  February 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      My apologies. To me Pres. Obama is THE SMIRK. I realize I tread on the servicemark of the previous occupant. Perhaps President Pinocchio is better?

      All I know is that I am a simple peon (in the modern American sense) who voted for this guy. I sought hope and change, and instead am being lectured about eating healthier and getting exercise. That’s a big whoopdie do on that one. :)

      • b mcclellan  February 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

        Service mark. Nematodes.
        I concur,
        durability of sameness,
        creeps t-ward endlessness..

  6. b mcclellan  February 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Just parting out my last hot rod, and waxing between bolts.
    Alas, were laughter truly more than a seemingly healing device.

    Pop said, plow straight , plant if ya got em.

  7. Almandine  February 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve often pondered the idea that our Dear Leader is much more interested in proletarian revolution than fiscal strength. Will our current lifestyle prevail… or will we be the beneficiaries of Cloward and Piven?

    • Carl Nemo  February 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Thanks Almandine for mentioning Cloward and Piven, two sociologists that are attributed with a plan for enhancing the lot of the poor in this country via overloading the system, thus forcing change in America; I.E., its very fabric juxtaposed against the ideals of our Republic and its founding principles.

      A few days ago I responded to one of your posts concerning Saul Alinsky’s influence on Hillary Clinton and her seniors thesis at Wellesley. Her thesis was hidden from public viewing as they moved closer to the presidency because it would have exposed her and reflected upon Bill their soclialist bent for change. Cloward and Piven are often shown in attendance at various White House gatherings during the Clinton era.

      I’ll first post this Wiki link to give folks an overview as to who these two people are and their raison d’être that drove their life’s work. Seemingly it was in tune with radical left sentiments of the era and so their ideas were embraced as an effective tactic for making change by toppling our system by the sheer weight of unpayable debt and mismanagement via the redistribution of wealth via questionable to failed social programs.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloward%E2%80%93Piven_strategy

      Due to the limitation of one link per post I’ll then provide the link to a multipart series presented by Glenn Beck which I think is an excellent tutorial as to what is the nature of the Cloward and Piven strategy for a total of six parts which are available to the right field for further viewing. Although I was aware of Cloward and Piven, I must say I would have never linked many of the negative economic decisions under which we are currently suffering as having been part and parcel to the C&P strategy.

      I’d advise folks not let any negative bias they have towards Beck’s airings preclude them from viewing the series. It’s truly an eye opener and it will also make people keenly aware as to the national economic tragedy we are now facing. It’s not if we’ll fail as a nation, but only when and the outcome is going to be equal to that of an asteroid incoming relative to this nation and the West in general.

      Evil, cunning, overly-educated intellects with a dark agenda have relentlessly sown the wind during the past 100 years with their writings and oligarchical friendly ideas for controlling the unwashed masses; unfortunately we are all going to reap the destructive whirlwind of their socialist conspiracy to create a “One World Order” with their ilk in control. Fortunately it’s a fait accompli that their scheme will fail because its based on something for nothing; ie, a massive population of unproductive parasites feeding upon a healthy host until it dies and they too perish.

      I also think Obama & Co.’s part in the financial destruction of this nation fits in with the recently proposed by idea by Newt Gingrich that it exposes Obama’s anti-colonialist sentiments linked to his African roots and having either witnessed or heard stories of how European colonials both exploited and treated the people of Africa.

      Disclaimer: Neither my enlistment of Glenn Beck vidclips or reference to Newt Gingrich represents an endorsement of all their ideas as expressed via their airings or book releases.

      Carl Nemo **==

      p.s. The next post will supply the first link of the Beck presentation. I highly recommend readers to spend time to view it in its entirety.

  8. Carl Nemo  February 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    The referenenced lead link to the Glenn Beck presentation concerning Cloward & Pivens’s impact on our our modern societal financial construct and seemingly imminent failure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9dnLgTo6MU

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine  February 3, 2011 at 12:09 am

      You will also recall the Obama’s Rules for Revolution link, which tightens the proverbial necktie further…

      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/…/Rules%20for%20Revolution%20(2).pdf

      • Carl Nemo  February 3, 2011 at 12:28 am

        Thanks for the link Al. The entire string doesn’t fly, so I simply fetched the base org and came with the Horowitz sponsored site. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting material to be had as I research their material.

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Carl Nemo  February 3, 2011 at 1:13 am

          I discovered that I had read the .pdf not long ago. In fact I may have read the material in relation to my reply outlining that in addition to Obama, Hillary Clinton has an affection for Saul’s ideology and activism, but at far loftier levels.

          We just might have a “Manchurian Candidate” in high office and all the while I thought it would be John McCain. Then again maybe generationally speaking they are both cut from the same ‘progressive’ cloth; both being tasked the same mission…no?

          Now they are burying the hatchet and developing a political relationship. Yep, scary indeed. / : |

          Carl Nemo **==

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