Economy Not Growing Fast Enough To Boost Employment Numbers
First quarter numbers released by the Commerce Department show the Gross Domestic Product growing modestly but jobless claims rising once again. Housing and real estate investment continue to plummet and government spending dropped too.
The Washington Post reported it's not all bad news, however:
"Though the drop illustrates the challenging climb the United States faces in trying to recover from a long period of weak growth, analysts say the underlying pace of expansion is stronger than the first-quarter number implies and is likely to bounce back in the second quarter. They noted that several of the factors that dragged down growth — severe winter weather, a dip in defense spending and higher prices for imported energy — are likely to be temporary."
But a CNN piece indicated that consumer spending, a workhorse of the anticipated recovery, is beginning to lag again:
"Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday:
'We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,' Duke said at an event in New York. 'There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.'
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.
Lately, they're 'running out of money' at a faster clip, he said."
Defense spending was way down this quarter, but is expected to come back around. Overall, analysts say it's too early to worry yet. In other words, wait 'til next quarter.