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Jan. 30, 2015

GDP Growth Slows, Biden Says Things Are 'Really, Really Hard'

After impressive 5% GDP growth in the third quarter of 2014, the initial estimate for the fourth quarter is growth of just 2.6%. Given rising consumer confidence, this may be puzzling. Bloomberg reports, “Cheaper gasoline and the largest employment increase since 1999 are boosting household confidence, increasing the odds that consumer spending can sustain gains following its biggest advance in almost nine years. At the same time, business investment is cooling as companies such as Caterpillar Inc. say plunging oil prices, a rising dollar and slowing growth abroad hurt sales globally.” Barack Obama’s job approval ratings have risen following the third quarter boost, but the fourth quarter number indicates we’re not out of the woods just yet – indeed, far from a real recovery, we’re seeing tepid and unstable growth. We’ll just leave it to Joe Biden to sum it up: “To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country.” More…

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