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Economic Growth? Not!

When we growled about economic growth on Saturday, little did we know that growth would be "grinding nearly to a halt," as the Washington Post is expected to report in tomorrow's print edition.

The Washington Post's Chico Harlan begins his reporting by writing:

"The U.S. economy ground nearly to a halt in the first three months of the year, according to government data released Wednesday morning, as exports plunged and severe winter weather helped keep consumers indoors.

"The gross domestic product grew between January and March at an annualized rate of 0.2 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said, adding to the picture of an economy braking sharply after accelerating for much of last year. The pace fell well shy of the 1 percent mark anticipated by analysts and marked the weakest quarter in a year.

"The economy had expanded at a rate of 2.2 percent in the final three months of 2014 and at a rate of 2.4 percent for the year.

"Economists, employers and policymakers now face the challenge of determining whether the slowdown is temporary — stemming mostly from an unusually snowy winter in the Northeast — or a sign of broader problems."

At the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog this morning, Jeffrey Sparshott asks "What gives?" with the series of weak first quarters for GDP?" His introduction:

"The reasons are sometimes different, but the results frustratingly similar.

"Since 2010, first-quarter gross domestic product growth has averaged a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.6%. For all other quarters, it’s 2.9%. That’s worked out to slow but steady growth and a bit of a puzzle for some economists."

He includes the following chart, which shows the quarterly GDP numbers:

The Journal's Kate Davidson provides a "quick look" at the GDP report here. At the same Real Time Economics blog, Sarah Portlock describes how economists responded to the first quarter GDP report.

A number of our Growls over the past year have touched on the issue of economic growth, but our February 8, 2014 Growls put "the economic and jobs recoveries perspective."

Growls readers are urged to contact their members of Congress to voice their concerns about the factors burdening the American economy. Scroll down the page to yesterday's post since we provided links to the websites of Arlington County's Congressional representatives.

When you write, tell them ACTA sent you.

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