Connect to share and comment

The big picture view of an ever-changing global economy.

US economy: No, it's not getting better

Forget the debt crisis in Washington. The US economy has enough trouble right now on its own.
Bridge destroyedEnlarge
Workers demolish the south side of Mulholland overpass on the 405 freeway during the 53-hour total freeway closure resulting in massive traffic disruptions expected throughout the region on July 16, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Yes, the silliness in Washington, D.C. right now poses a grave threat to the U.S. economy, the world's largest.

But here's the problem: it's having enough trouble on its own.

According to the latest report on U.S. gross domestic product, America's economy has slowed dramatically. 

The Commerce Department says that GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter, after having eked out an anemic annual rate of 0.4 percent in the first three months of the year.

And that last number was revised sharply down from earlier estimates of 1.7 percent.

Even worse, the Commerce department says that the 2007-2009 recession was deeper and more punishing than we all thought.

Here's the offending quote from today's Commerce Dept. press release:

For 2007-2010, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 0.3 percent; in the previously published estimates, real GDP had increased at an average annual rate of less than 0.1 percent.From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2011, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent; in the previously published estimates, real GDP had increased at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent.

“The word for this report is ‘shocking,’" John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics told the New York Times. “With slow growth, higher inflation, almost no consumer spending growth, it is very tough to find good news.”

You can say that again, John.

For more from Thomas Mucha on Twitter: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/us-economy-gdp-debt-crisis