Cesar Conda on today’s GDP report:
Democrats and the mainstream media will no doubt say this is firm evidence that President Bush’s tax-cutting policies are starting to fail and that it’s time for a new policy direction. Critics also might blame the Federal Reserve for waiting too long to end its cycle of interest-rate hikes.
But these criticisms will be wrong: The ongoing economic expansion is a direct result of the sound fiscal and monetary policies of the past six years, while the current slower pace of economic growth appears to be cyclical and temporary in nature.
…A GDP report for one quarter is simply one quarter’s worth of data. A broad range of indicators over a longer time period provides a much more accurate picture of our economy: To wit, the U.S. economy grew 3.5 percent across the four quarters preceding the latest GDP data, the fastest pace among industrialized nations. Productivity has expanded at a strong 2.5 percent over this period, well ahead of the average productivity growth rate of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The economy has created 1.8 million new jobs over the past year and 6.6 million jobs since August 2003 ‘” more jobs than were created in Japan and the European Union combined during this period. And the current unemployment rate of 4.6 percent sits below the average for each of the past four decades.