Reaksjoner til dagens amerikanske BNP-fall og Bernankes påfølgende kommentar.

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Derimot, hadde det vært en egen økonomikategori hadde vi nok hatt en sjans på en respektabel bronse. Det er lov å drømme.

Den amerikanske økonomien krympet med 0,1% i 4. kvartal 2012. Sentralbanken kaller dette en pause.

Her er en oppsummering:

Først fra
Econbrowser, og James Hamilton
:

So although the headlines may sound scary, I do not think the GDP report changes the underlying fundamental picture. We knew that fiscal contraction, developments in Europe, and Hurricane Sandy would exert a drag on the economy, and they did. We knew that housing would help a little, and it has. The reasonable expectation is still to anticipate positive but below-normal growth for the first half of 2013, and hopefully a better picture for the second half.

Dette sender oss til liknende resonnementer fra Calculated Risk, Free Exchange og Capital Spectator.

Timer senere kom kommentar fra Bernanke og hovedstyret:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that growth in economic activity paused in recent months, in large part because of weather-related disruptions and other transitory factors. Employment has continued to expand at a moderate pace but the unemployment rate remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment advanced, and the housing sector has shown further improvement. Inflation has been running somewhat below the Committee’s longer-run objective, apart from temporary variations that largely reflect fluctuations in energy prices. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. Although strains in global financial markets have eased somewhat, the Committee continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook. The Committee also anticipates that inflation over the medium term likely will run at or below its 2 percent objective.

Mark Thoma:

So despite today’s lackluster economic update, the Fed remains in a holding pattern due to uncertainties about the GDP numbers and conflicting indicators of where the economy is headed. Until the data are clear one way or the other — a strengthening recovery or a continuation and confirmation of the low GDP and employment growth numbers we saw today — that is unlikely to change.

Dean Baker:

Government spending fell at a 6.6 percent annual rate, driven by a 22.2 percent decline in defense spending, subtracting 1.33 percentage points from the growth rate in the quarter. A 40.3 drop in the rate of inventory accumulation reduced growth by another 1.27 percentage points. Without these factors, GDP would have grown at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the quarter.

Pulling out these extraordinary factors, the GDP data were largely in line with prior quarters. Consumption grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate, driven mostly by 13.9 percent growth in durable goods purchases, primarily cars. This number was inflated due to the effects of Sandy, which destroyed many cars, forcing people to buy new ones.

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