Dan Gilmore / August 27, 2015

Are Second Quarter GDP Numbers as Good as It Gets?

One number does not a good economy make.

Well, it’s certainly welcome news after the markets dipped in response to China’s economic woes. The Commerce Department said Thursday the Gross Domestic Product improved by 3.7% in the second quarter. That’s over a full percentage point higher than the 2.3% GDP the department predicted in July. Even though the numbers represent our economy’s performance weeks before Black Monday, it shows an economy finally surprising economists in a good way. But is it true, or will this number be “revised” downward just as in previous quarters? And if true, will it last? Can the U.S. only muster 2%, maybe 3% growth? Economist Nariman Behravesh told The New York Times that our economy may hit some future “speed limits,” as the Baby Boomer generation heads to retirement. Furthermore, as Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes, these government numbers on the economy keep jumping around. The headline unemployment numbers look good, for example, and then they are revised down a few months later. The question being asked about the economy is if the Federal Reserve will raise rates. Monday’s market downturn dashed those expectations. But with this report, the possibility returns. By all means, the second quarter GDP number is a good number, which is a relief. But one good number does not a good economy make.

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