Fisher Capital Management: Market Performance - US Economy
Fisher Capital Management Report, Part 1 - Output growth exceeded what were once considered lofty expectations during the third quarter, as real GDP (inflation adjusted Gross Domestic Product) rose by a 3.5% annual pace from the previous quarter.
Online, September 6, 2010 (Newswire.com) - Fisher Capital Management Report, Part 1 - Output growth exceeded what were once considered lofty expectations during the third quarter, as real GDP (inflation adjusted Gross Domestic Product) rose by a 3.5% annual pace from the previous quarter. To be sure, this was the first gain in economic activity after four consecutive quarterly declines in GDP. While technically this indicates an end to the recession, we point out that on a year-over-year (YOY) basis, economic activity has still declined 2.3%, yet it represents an improvement from the -3.8% YOY in the second quarter, the worst annual drop in seven decades. The components of GDP were led by growth in personal consumption, which increased 3.4% as stimulus programs such as "Cash for Clunkers" allowed consumer spending to increase by the largest amount in two years. Home construction surged at an annual rate of 23%, spurred on by the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers. Another decline in business inventories also added to output, as did the growth in government spending (2.3%). Though businesses increased spending on equipment and software, fixed investment remained weak.
Market Performance, US Economy: Fisher Capital Management Report - As the positive effects of federal stimuli diminish, we continue to project an economic recovery that is "less spectacular" than in previous experiences. While output growth has improved as government programs spurred consumption relative to housing and autos, our concern rests on the economy¹s ability to sustain these rates of growth as government programs wane. Indeed, personal spending fell 0.5% in September after the "Cash for Clunkers" program concluded in August. Consumer confidence also weakened in October as the unemployment rate approached 10%. Until we experience a sustainable floor in housing and a ceiling on the unemployment rate, we suspect output growth will rely on exports, inventories, and government outlays, areas that we characterize as "cushions" for growth.
Market Performance, US Economy: Fisher Capital Management Report - As the unemployment rate lingers within the range of 10% and Fed policymakers remain committed to keeping interest rates low for an "extended period," we look for real GDP to expand at an average rate of approximately 2.5% in 2010.
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