Economy Growing Ever so Slowly, But Not Enough to Create Jobs

July 30, 2010

(ChattahBox)—It’s the last Friday of the month, and you know what that means: The U.S. Commerce Department’s report on the health of our economy measured by GDP growth. And the report provides us with good news and bad news, mostly bad. The good news, is that the economy is growing, but at a snail’s pace of 2.4 percent. The slow growth is based on our growing trade deficit, reduced consumer spending and businesses’ reluctance to add to their inventory during a recession. All of this adds up to bad news: continued unemployment, as companies are still not hiring, despite a healthy rebound in profits.

Consumer spending, always a big measure of consumer confidence and economic health, came in at a paltry increase of only 1.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to 1.9 percent in the previous report.

The report from the Commerce Department provides us with the gritty details:

“The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, exports, personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.”

“The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected an acceleration in imports and a deceleration in private inventory investment that were partly offset by an upturn in residential fixed investment, an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, an upturn in state and local government spending, and an acceleration in federal government spending.”

All of these weak growth indicators, point to a lost generation of institutionalized unemployment, unless the federal government can step in to save the day with a jobs program. But with obstructionist Republicans filibustering everything for political gain, (the GOP just blocked aid to small businesses) that’s unlikely.

A grim outlook, indeed.

For a look back to the last Great Depression, check out Al Jolson’s rendition of “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.”


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