by Bruce Yandle
Mercatus Center
December 11, 2013
Probing a bit deeper into the GDP analysis, one finds that the higher than expected numbers were associated with lower than expected consumer purchases. This means that about 0.8 percentage points of the 2.8 percent growth came with a run-up in final good inventories—stuff retailers hoped to sell but didn’t. This doesn’t augur well. It’s not likely that Black Friday and later holiday shopping will give the economy a shot in the arm. The stronger than expected job numbers put the effects of the government shutdown under a statistical magnifying glass. The data seem to say the government closing did not hit the economy as hard as some expected. After all, there was full expectation that furloughed workers would be paid later.

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