The US economic growth chart looks pretty good. Not only is unemployment lower than it was. We are also producing more than we are using. So, all this sounds pretty good to me. But how good is it really?
I have a sneaky suspicion that our chart is being cooked by the top economists and Wall Street cronies in the corporate world. It is probably a reflection of the economic data that they have been feeding us for so long. And it may be a very crude look at the state of the economy. I say this because there is no way of making sense out of these economic charts. For instance, if we keep adding a little bit to GDP (GDP refers to Gross Domestic Product) on an annual basis, then we should be seeing steady economic growth.
If we look instead at the slow economic growth that we have been getting over the past few years, then I think we can understand that something is amiss. And I think what is wrong is that we have allowed our politicians to get us to do things on a monthly basis. You see, when you go to your local bank to take out a loan or purchase a car or home, the bank CEO usually makes a trip to Washington to meet with the heads of all the agencies that will be lending money or providing credit. During that time frame, they make sure that each quarter of the year's economic growth meets or exceeds the expectations of the federal government. It is a very artificial construct, and it fails to account for the natural rhythms of the economy.
In fact, if we looked at the US economic chart and really looked at the numbers, it would tell us that the rate of inflation in the country has been remarkably low and, in some cases, has actually been zero for several years now. What does this tell us? That is that the cost of living in this country is so unbelievably low that it is not worth while spending more money to buy things. But if you are a savvy investor, you know that real estate is one of those things where there is no such thing as a 'constant return'.
It is not as if the US economy is running away from us on a never-ending road. On the contrary, we are seeing steady, albeit slow economic growth. However, if we were to look at the US economic growth chart and take out the consumer side of it and look at it through the eyes of the consumer, we would find that there . . . . . . is a lot of noise on the horizon and it is not all good news.
So, what should we make of the US economic growth chart and what do investors do when they look at it? Well, if we were to look at the consumer side of the US economy, we would find that it has been hit hard by the global recession and many have found their finances severely depleted. The good news is that the economic recovery is picking up and things are starting to look up for the US economy. There are many indicators pointing to this and although no one knows what the actual rate of unemployment will be when the recession ends or how fast the recovery will be, there is no doubt that things are looking better for the US than they have been in a long time.