November 30, 2004

Could it be.......?


WASHINGTON - The economy helped out by more brisk consumer and business spending grew at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter, a performance that was stronger than previously thought. The new reading on gross domestic product, which is based on additional data, was up from the 3.7 percent growth rate first estimated for the July-to-September quarter, the Commerce Department (news - web sites) reported Tuesday.

GDP (news - web sites) measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the broadest barometer of the economy's health.

The 3.9 percent growth rate registered in the third quarter represented a pickup from the second quarter's 3.3 percent pace and marked the best showing since the opening quarter of this year.

The latest snapshot of economic activity was brighter than economists were expecting. They were predicting economic growth would hold steady at the previously estimated pace of 3.7 percent.

The main reasons for the third-quarter improvement: stronger consumer spending, which grew at the fastest clip since the end of 2001, and more robust business investment in equipment and software. Better growth in U.S. exports also helped.

Although the economy is expanding at a solid pace, private economists want to see continued improvements in the labor market, where the recovery has been somewhat sluggish. In October, the economy added a sizable 337,000 jobs, the most since March. While many of those jobs were for hurricane cleanup, the report still raised hopes that the job recovery might be becoming more firmly rooted.

Economists predict employers expanded payrolls by around 200,000 in November, and that the jobless rate will dip down to 5.4 percent from October's 5.5 percent. The employment report for November will be released Friday.

So much for JFK's "worst economy in 70 years" crapola.

But we all know this sort of news means but one thing: Ace......has.......COWBELL!

Okay, Ace hasn't signed in yet. But when he does, we'll link the cowbell (and for those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, trust me: you won't be disappointed. Except if you don't think Will Ferrell is funny, and then you'll just be scratching your head and saying, "what does a guy who looks kind of like a goat banging like a madman on a big ol' cowbell have to do with good economic news?"

And you know, I really don't have a good answer to that.)

Posted by Steve at November 30, 2004 10:24 AM

I've got a FEVER....

Posted by: Brian B at November 30, 2004 10:48 AM
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