July 30, 2004


U.S. Economy Grew at a 3% Rate in Second Quarter After 4.5% (Bloomberg, 7/30/04)

The U.S. economy grew at a 3 percent annual rate from April through June, slower than the prior three months and less than forecast, as rising energy prices led to the weakest rate of consumer spending in three years.

The rise in gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, followed a 4.5 percent pace in the first quarter that was faster than the previously reported 3.9 percent rate, the Commerce Department said in Washington. The GDP price deflator used to adjust the figures rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate, the most since the 2001 first quarter.

Consumer spending slowed as gasoline prices that held above $2 a gallon on average crimped sales at retailers such as Wal- Mart Stores Inc. Companies, more confident about the expansion, rebuilt inventories and bought more equipment.

"We're in the process of throttling back to cruising speed, but we're still flying along at a pretty good pace,'' said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania, before the report. ``I think we'll have very strong business investment in the second half. That's the key factor that will power growth.'' [...]

Adjusted for inflation, GDP totaled $10.8 trillion at an annual rate. Unadjusted for the change in prices, it totaled $11.6 trillion, rising at a 6.3 percent annual rate after 7.4 percent in the first quarter.

Presidents don't get voted out of office with economic growth rates over 3%.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2004 1:56 PM


This year is a bit different given Iraq and War issues.

While you and I agree on the war and the economy, Bush may get caught in a bit of transition, from the public thinking less of Iraq (Bush hasn't argued his excellent case very well)...

but not yet ready to consider the economy a "winner" for him yet. Let's face it, the media black out on any good news is striking this time out.

If it weren't for blogs, Radio, and e-mail lists, Bush would be down 20, and sinking.

Regardless, I'm predicting (and taking bets) that it is Bush 52 Kerry 45, and hoping Bush doesn't make a liar out of me.

Posted by: BB at July 30, 2004 2:50 PM


Iraq is over as a political issue.

Posted by: oj at July 30, 2004 2:57 PM

I agree with oj. Iraq, meaning the country itself, is barely mentioned at all anymore. The moment an issue no longer has a net negative effect on Bush the attention span of the Leftstream media fades quickly. Just like Afghanistan and outsourcing. "Record" gasoline prices and the threat of inflation started getting attention once the "jobless recovery" was no longer an issue to hammer away at Bush. Unfortunately for the Left the mere threat of inflation simply won't be big enough of an issue. Of course Bush won't start getting positive coverage or any credit for anything that goes right, but at the same time the fear of an Iraqi "twin uprising" that loomed so large in April is long gone and it's no longer possible for anyone to portray our economy as being in the toilet. Approval ratings for Bush will already be inching upwards by the time the Republicans finally start campaigning.

Posted by: andy at July 30, 2004 4:33 PM

The car bombing that killed over 70 this week in Bakubah was on page 9 in USA Today. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 30, 2004 8:24 PM

They might get voted out if the story is reported thusly.

"Frugal spending slows economy, 3% growth rate in GDP is well below predictions"

"The economy slowed dramatically in the spring to an annual growth rate of 3 percent, as consumers, worried about higher gasoline prices, cut their spending to the weakest pace in three years, the Commerce Department report Friday." (AP via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Business section, July 31, 2004.)

Posted by: Chris B at August 1, 2004 1:45 AM