6.9% GDP Is Not Screaming Growth, It’s Screeching Brakes

Summary The economy grew at a 6.9% annualized rate in the fourth quarter. Savor the flavor because it will not last; the details behind the better-than-expected headline point to a slowing in spending and a back-up in inventories. Without the boost from inventories, GDP would have been just 2.0% in Q4. A Very Upbeat Signal of a Slowdown It is tempting to celebrate a better-than-expected outturn with 6.9% GDP growth in the fourth quarter (chart), but due to a confluence of factors we will not likely see that sort of growth again for some time. While to some extent the year-end surge was a function of steady consumer and business spending, both petered out at the end of the year as Omicron cases climbed and hospitalizations followed. READ FULL ARTICLE>>