October 30, 2003


GDP Growth Strongest Since 1984 (REUTERS, 10/30/2003)

The U.S. economy rocketed ahead at its fastest pace in more than 19 years in the third quarter of 2003 as consumers, their wallets fattened by tax cuts, went on a buying spree, an unexpectedly strong government report showed on Thursday.
U.S. gross domestic product surged at a 7.2 percent annual rate in the July-September period, the Commerce Department said. It was the strongest advance since the first quarter of 1984 and more than double the second quarter's 3.3 percent rate.

Posted by Stephen Judd at October 30, 2003 9:13 AM

if the fedahyin saddam can't keep up their car bombing of NGO's for the next year, the Democrats are going to be reduceed to incomprehensible technichal quibling about medicare.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 30, 2003 9:24 AM

The improving economy helps Bush not only by making people feel better about Bush and the BOP but also by removing a major issue from the Dems and forces them to run on foreign policy/security issues where they will (should) get crushed.

Posted by: AWW at October 30, 2003 10:19 AM

Unemployment is still a lagging indicator, but if hiring continues to pick up to match these numbers, Bush will look very solid. It's early enough that the timing should be okay for him.

Posted by: John Thacker at October 30, 2003 10:26 AM

We need another round of tax cuts, the one proven stimulus to economic growth.

Posted by: sam at October 30, 2003 11:32 AM

The Democrats' decision to press for revocation of the previous tax cuts have removed any political pressure on the President to champion another tax cut. Not only that, but they're turning the death tax into the Republican gift that keeps on giving by allowing him to campaign for making its abolition permanent. Having said that, I'm all for another tax cut.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2003 11:59 AM

I was more than a little suspicious about the quarter in which the economy was reported to be growing at 5% (actually, 1.25% for three months, annualized, as the barbarians say).

The preliminary figures usually are revised later, when nobody is looking, and often by 25-35%.

The economy is growing, no doubt. 7%? No way.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 30, 2003 1:18 PM

When one side says things are bad, and the other says it's good, the actual numbers aren't going to matter much, except for those whose job is to spin for the Democrats. A 25-35% reduction in 7.2% still leaves it at or above 5%, which is a hell of a lot better than the "worst economy since Herbert Hoover" talk that the Dem's softball team keep pitching.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 30, 2003 1:27 PM

Hey, lay off the Democrats. Short of co-nominating W, they've got to say something.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2003 2:07 PM

As blogger Robert Musil indicates, Paul Krugman's cat has probably reached geosynchronus orbit by now, following this morning's economic numbers reports...

Posted by: John at October 30, 2003 2:43 PM

My point exactly, Raoul.

One reason I don't believe it's really growing 7 percent or anywhere near it is that important parts are not growing at all -- farming, airlines.

As a nonpartisan, I don't care what the political outcome of growth/contraction is, I am concerned only about how people make their livings.

But for you political types, a global 7% (even if accurate) does not get the same results if it is divided as part of the country is expanding 14% and the rest is not expanding period.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 30, 2003 2:51 PM

Harry -- Politically, all that matters is what's happening on the coasts.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2003 2:53 PM


If you're waiting for farming and the airlines to become growth industries, you've a long wait. Both are overly dependent on the government and not likely grow much, unless as a result of taxpayers money.


Posted by: The Other Brother at October 30, 2003 3:14 PM


My airline has stopped furloughs that were supposed to go through January (a furlough reduction of about 180), and announced (in house) its intent, but no details, on starting recalls in 2004.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 30, 2003 6:38 PM

We in Hawaii -- except the ones who want tourism outlawed -- are fervently awaiting growth in the airline industry.

In fact, the Mainland-Hawaii routes are growing just fine, thanks. But the overall industry is still sick.

On the other hand, if Jeff gets recalled, he won't have time to post and I'll be all alone here.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 30, 2003 8:16 PM

Another round of tax cuts ? Rubbish.
The only way that I could support that, is if we match it with spending cuts, a rather unlikely proposition.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 30, 2003 8:45 PM

We already have our next tax cut, April 15, 2004.

In about another 2 weeks, shouldn't people be getting their 3Q IRA/401K statements?

You think they're going to notice??

Will the Dow reach 10K on "irrational exuberance?"

Posted by: Sandy P. at October 30, 2003 9:03 PM