Here’s a story about the economy slowing that is sad, but not surprising:
The economy nearly stalled in the fourth quarter with a growth rate of just 0.6 percent, capping its worst year since 2002.
The Commerce Department’s report on the gross domestic product, released Wednesday, showed an economy that had deteriorated considerably during the October-to-December quarter as worsening problems in the housing market and harder-to-get credit made individuals and businesses more cautious in their spending. Fears of a recession have grown, even as inflation remained elevated.
For all of 2007, the economy grew by just 2.2 percent, the weakest performance in five years, when the country was struggling to recover from the 2001 recession. The housing collapse dealt the economy its biggest blow last year. Builders slashed spending on housing projects by 16.9 percent on an annualized basis, the most in 25 years.
Well, not surprising to those of us who have been paying attention. Some of us were noting at the time that the economy was slowing and that the economy might slide into a recession some time this year.
Then there were some people who were looking backward and concluding things were just peachy.