Comment on Q4 GDP by Kathy Bostjancic, Director for Macroeconomic Analysis, The Conference Board


Jan 30, 2014, 09:20 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis today reported 3.2 percent annualized growth in real gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2013.

A 3.2 percent growth rate in the second half of the year, with close to 200,000 new jobs per month is enough to perk up sentiment and lead consumers to the malls. That seemed true in the holiday period, even with vehicle sales finally catching up with long-delayed turnover. This winter, retail discounting will not be as generous as it was in the holiday period, but long delayed business investment may finally start to kick into gear, however slowly. With the housing market on firmer traction, the ingredients seem to be in place for the economy to remain on a strong growth path, and not be interrupted by fiscal squabbling at the federal level. At the state and local level, the conversation is about reversing some of the cuts put in place in the last few years and/or do some much needed infrastructure repair. In summary, the economic performance in the fourth quarter and third quarter was a relatively pleasant change for the better. And more of the same could be in store this winter and spring.  

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