Economic Growth Stays Soft


The ongoing corruption of Murdoch-run WSJ continues apace — If you just skimmed the headlines, you might have a very different takeaway than what the articles authors intended.

I doubt anyone’s response to a headline that stated “Economic Growth Stays Soft” would be “I guess the economy is expanding at an annualized 2.5% pace. (as the content of the article makes clear). Indeed, stays soft when the prior quarter was flat is not just silly, its mathematically wrong when you go from a 0.1% GD to a 2.5% GDP (both annualized).

The headline, on the other hand, is pure Murdoch propaganda. When are they going to spin the WSJ out away from the Murdoch journalistic wrecking crew?

As a comparison, Bloomberg shows what objectivity looks like: Growth in U.S. Trails Forecasts as Defense Spending Falls

One last thought: WSJ blogs such as Real Time Economics do not seem to have the same editorial interference as the paper does. Hence, we see actual journalism, nuanced and complex, free of Murdoch’s political agenda: A perspective looking at various economic sectors such as this Five Takeaways From GDP Report, a nuanced, objective view like this GDP to Get Bigger, Not Necessarily Faster and lastly, a quirky, oddity such as GDP Revisions Aim to Account for Value of Art.

Some people think Blogs will replace MSM in terms of objective, informative news in the future. By all appearances, it looks like that has already happened at Murdoch’s flagship WSJ.


Economic Growth Stays Soft
WSJ, April 26, 2013

Category: Economy, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

12 Responses to “Economic Growth Stays Soft Q1 GDP = 2.5%”

  1. johnl says:

    Current QE program is about equal to 6% of GDP. Current growth rate = 2.5%, Murdoch may have an agenda, but the picture still ain’t really all that pretty for large swaths of middle class America .

    • Thats a legitimate argurment to make int he context of the issue how effective is QE? — not when reporting a GDP that went from 0.1% to 2.5% — remains soft is a lie. Underperforming, missed expectations, muddled thru is not

  2. CSF says:

    Some reasonable headlines that simply describe GDP relative to expectations:
    – US News and World Report: “First Quarter GDP Growth Falls Flat”
    – American Public Media (Public Radio): “First quarter GDP report disappoints”
    – Christian Science Monitor: “Smaller-than-expected bounce for US economy”

    A headline that accurately explains the GDP miss:
    Times of London: “‘Self-inflicted wounds’ put US growth under threat”

    The NYTimes’ editorial approach, blaming the results on budget cuts but conveniently omitting tax increases: “Federal Cuts Are Concern in Modest U.S. Growth”

    Like the NYT, the WSJ also editorializes, plus it’s inaccurate, as BR’s chart shows.

  3. wisegrowth says:

    I actually thought that $13.750 trillion was an economically stable number for 1Q-2013. I expect the revision to go up though.
    People will settle down once the revision comes out.

  4. PDS says:

    BR…no matter how you spin it this was a disappointing data point that shows and extension of the lousy sub par 3/4 year growth trend of this expansion…the fact remains we cannot get beyond stall speed growth without the Fed’s considerable involvement…in fact the latest data on consumption and housing suggests that the economy is weakening…again

    This is a soft economy (or worse) and the WSJ should not be critisized for reporting it like it is…I wish more in the lame stream media would do the same and put the heat on DC policy makers to find/implement the right combination of pro growth policies..

    You can’t make chicken salad from chicken shit BR!!

    • I am not in anyway cheerleading the economy — this is a subpar recovery as I have been saying for 5 years now, and it is not your typical post-recession economic recovery. This is a post credit crisis recovery, with attendant weak hiring and soft GDP.

      That said, my criticism of the WSJ for the past few years is the intellectual dishonesty of the headlines (Written by editors, not the reporter) and how they often conflict with the actual content of the article. Even the WSJ blog posts are more nuanced and accurate than the WSJ paper headlines.

      Going from 0.1% to 2.5% is not “Remains Soft — thats pure Murdoch crapola.

      Here is an assortment of other reporting on GDP:

      “GDP 2.5% for Q1 2013″
      “Did sequestration cause weak Q1 GDP?”
      “US economic growth accelerates in Q1 as concerns …”
      “Q1 GDP 2.5% below predictions of 3.2%”
      “U.S. GDP Growth Accelerates From A Crawl To A Walk In Q1″
      “GDP shows 2.5 percent growth in Q1″

      These are much more acccurate and informative headlines that provide context and nuance — something that Murdoch has no interest in when they conflict with his political agenda. In the old days, the WSJ kept crazy confined to the editorial pages. Now, it spills over the entire publication, damaging its reputation for outstanding journalism and business reporting.

  5. jhawk1514 says:

    It looks extremely soft compared to the recovery in the 1980′s. Your article looks like a lie if one looks at the 1980′s GDP growth and compares to post 2008!


    BR: Most intelligent humans compare GDP either to the prior quarter or year over year. Comparing Q1 2013 GDP to any quarter from 3 decades prior is utterly absurd.

    Mazel Tov, You win the award for the dumbest comment of the month.

    • Joe Friday says:


      It looks extremely soft compared to the recovery in the 1980′s. Your article looks like a lie if one looks at the 1980′s GDP growth and compares to post 2008!

      There are numerous glaring inconsistencies with such a comparison:

      A) The “recovery in the 1980′s” was from a mild recession, whereas the recovery “post 2008” is from two recessions, a financial collapse, and an economic depression.

      B) Three decades ago, there was massive Keynesian stimulus, in the form of a massive ramp-up in misplaced defense spending, which resulted in temporarily higher GDP, whereas “post 2008” there has been a massive decline in government spending.

  6. DeDude says:


    QE does not add to the GDP the some $ for $ way mortgage Equity withdrawal did. So you can’t say for sure how much or how little of the reported growth is coming from QE. The main effect spilling into the economy is that a certain number of home owners have been able to refinance and get a little more spending money – but a lot of those people are using the extra money to pay down debt not to spend. Furthermore, on the other side of that equation is a lot of retired people with small savings in CDs and other safe stuff that have to cut their expenditures because of the low rates. I have not seen any good data on these effects, but I doubt that QE is adding much to the GDP. However, I do agree that it is not pretty for the middle class and few of them are seeing any of that 2.5% growth.

  7. stanley j g crouch says:


    The Street ‘ginned up’ a +3.2% #. Plus, when we peel the onion, the ‘quality’ of +2.5% was suspect at best (inventory build, etc…) Blame the pundits. Not that I love WSJ or Ruppert’s ‘agenda’.

    We’re going to have one of the most interesting and eventful weeks in a long time…i m H o…Perhaps shockingly so.



  8. scecman says:

    Did only the people who missed the whole point of this post actually submit a comment? BR is making the argument that the WSJ editorial group is slanted. He is not making a comment on the actual GDP value, the reasons it was weak or how the number compares to Q2 1985!
    I wonder if anyone actually reads these posts or just lives to comment…