Revised GDP and the slow recovery

BEA released the second estimate of the first quarter GDP, and it's up from 0.5 to 0.8%. Not bad, not great. Note that federal government spending is a drag on the recovery (although local and state governments are positive force, and part of that is actually funded by the federal government anyway; so the actual negative impact of contractionary fiscal policy is smaller than what the numbers suggest). At any rate, this will be used to demand higher rates in the next meeting of the FOMC. You can bet about it. Listen to Dean Baker at the Rick Smith Show here, suggesting why this is a terrible idea.

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