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Half Full Or Half Empty? Jobs And GDP Differ

Marketwatch (07/28/13) Jeffry Bartash

The government this week is expected to report that the U.S. gross domestic product grew only 1.0% in the second quarter, down from an underwhelming 1.8% in this year’s January-through-March period. Economists expect the latest overhaul will show that historic growth has been a bit faster than believed, although it will not change what has transpired in the past six years. J.P. Morgan economists write: “Even after the revisions, we will still be looking back at a deep recession and slow recovery.”

Most economists are forecasting U.S. growth will accelerate in this year’s third and fourth quarters. As for the employment picture, the U.S. has generated an average of more than 200,000 a month since the first of the year, which is more than most economists projected back in January. Attention must now be paid to how many hours employees work each week. A rising or unchanged number is good for the economy, while a decline could be a sign of trouble.