GDP Revised Downward, Again

Estimated GDP growth for the third quarter has been revised downward again, to 2.2% from an initial estimate of 3.5% (it was also revised downward last month).  That means that the Cash-for-Clunkers program accounts for most of the growth:

Motor vehicle output added 1.45 percentage points to the third-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.19 percentage point to the second-quarter change. Final sales of computers subtracted 0.08 percentage point from the third-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.04 percentage point from the second-quarter change.

Since cash-for-clunkers probably moved auto purchases forward, rather than generating actual new demand for autos, this considerably dampens hopes for a "V" shaped recovery.  As Reinhart and Rogoff predicted last winter, the economy is probably going to putter along for a while before it generates new jobs and demand.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In