WASHINGTON -- The economy sprang out of a year-end rut and zipped ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 5.6 percent pace, the fastest in 2 1/2 years and even stronger than previously thought.
The new snapshot of gross domestic product for the January-to-March period exceeded the 5.3 percent growth rate estimated a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The upgraded reading _ based on more complete information _ matched economists' forecasts.
And, for my deficit obsessed correspondents there's this:
Read it here.
The stronger GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country's trade deficit, which was much less of a drag than previously estimated.
Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the country's economic fitness.
The booming economy is rapidly reducing the budget deficit. When I pointed this out to some of my more dyspeptic correspondents, they immediately replied..., "well, what about the trade deficit." Now that seems to be diminishing too. What's left for them to complain about? Well, there's always the stock market. Yesterday one of the grumps actually said "if it weren't for Bush's policies it would be at 20,000 right now." Yeah, right! Even Larry Kudlow isn't making that claim.
There are a lot of beltway warriors who simply refuse to give the Bush administration credit for anything, no matter what. So tortured are their arguments that one wonders if there isn't something much deeper playing out here. Could it be Bush's determination to bring accountability to the federal bureaucracy?