- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More bad financial news has hit the nation, as the Commerce Department reports the U.S. economy has shrunk for the first time in three-and-a-half years, by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

By way of comparison, the third quarter, from July-September, saw a 3.1 percent growth rate, according to The Associated Press.

Analysts say the sluggishness is due to defense cuts — the biggest to hit the military in 40 years, according to AP. Another factor: Exports have fallen.

Hiring remains slow. Job creation has stumbled at an estimated 150,000 new positions per month for the past couple years — barely enough to make a dent in the unemployment rate, which has held at a stubborn 7.8 percent for months, the AP reports. And economic forecasts are for more of the same: Analysts predict another high jobless rate for the month. The next jobs report is due for release this Friday.

The contraction is reportedly a surprise and fuels talk that President Obama’s tax increases may further weaken the economy.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide