Growth and Quality of Life: What Can we Learn from Japan?

There is a growing concern that economic growth, as we know it, is coming to an end. Economists, who tend to view growth as good, are uneasy with that idea. Many environmentalists, who are more prone to focus on the downside of growth, view a steady-state economy more positively. Richard Heinberg, author of the book […]

US GDP Shrinks in Q4. How to Interpret the Bad News?

Data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed a decrease of 0.1 percent in U.S. real GDP for the fourth quarter of 2012. If confirmed, that would mark the first quarterly drop in real GDP since the recession ended in mid-2009. Of course, we should always take the advance estimate of GDP with […]

Latest GDP Revision Carries a Mixed Message for the Election: Economy Weak, but Corporate Profits Strong

The revised third estimate of GDP for Q2 2012, released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, carries a mixed message for the election campaign. The revised data show real GDP growing at an annual rate of just 1.3 percent in Q2, down from the already weak 1.7 percent of the previous estimate. The slowdown […]

US GDP Data: Private Sector Grows 2.8% in Q1 2012, Government Continues to Shrink

The private sector of the U.S. economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2012, according to yesterday’s advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Overall growth of real GDP was 2.2 percent, pulled down by the continuing shrinkage of the government sector. Consumption spending contributed 2.04 percentage points […]