Commerce Department forecasts dull growth
Is the U.S. economy now settled into a period of steady, average, and unexciting growth after two years of turmoil?
That is the suggestion of today's report from the Commerce Department on March personal income and consumption spending. Both gained 0.4%. This is about a 5% annual rate, including inflation. And it is right on track with expectations of 3.5% to 4.5% GDP growth through next year. Expect average and dull but probably not steady numbers for most economic data through next year.
The report has good news for the consumer durables market, which buys a substantial share of electronic components. Durables purchases rose 0.7% in March, with February's gain revised up to 2.3%. These increases pretty much offset the December to January falloff in durables sales after the end of 0% car loans. All of the buy-ahead impact from that aggressive marketing is now behind us.