One month ago, I took time out from commenting on foreign affairs to note that the world economy, and the U.S. in particular, was in the doldrums and not showing signs of the roar-back growth everyone seemed to be expecting, with anticipations that the U.S Federal Reserve would soon start raising interest rates.
No one gives me any prizes for being right (just as well, wouldn’t want to pay the penalties for when I’m wrong). But when the data came in for the first-quarter GDP growth in America, it was a lot worse than most folks expected.
Growth in Q1 was at an almost non-existent 0.2 percent annual rate. Business spending on investment is down, inventories were up, and consumer spending slumped.
The good news is that the Fed is unlikely to raise interest rates soon in light of this performance. The bad news is that after 8 years of “recovery,” the U.S. economy has yet to put together three or four solid quarters of strong growth. We’re still waiting….