29 October 2009

Out of the Woods?

From the NY Times:
For the first time in a year, the United States economy grew, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

...Gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the three months ending in September.

...Robust government spending, exports, consumer spending — buoyed by auto purchases Congress’s now-expired cash-for-clunkers program — and housing helped finally push the measure into positive territory. Spending on consumer durable goods like cars shot up an astounding 22.3 percent at an annual rate, compared to a decrease of 23.3 percent the previous quarter.
I don't doubt the numbers. They are what they are. However, I doubt (highly) that our economy is on the mend. We'll have some good quarters, but they'll be off-set by some bad ones. The damage of the Bush administration is too systemic for a normal recovery. My gut hunch is we'll be digging our way out of this for another two to three years (if we're lucky), and even once we are out of the woods, we're probably looking at decades worth of rather weak economic growth.