The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, evidence that the economic recovery continues to plug along but that growth is not accelerating in a way that would bring down joblessness rapidly.
The first-quarter gain in gross domestic product represents a deceleration from the 5.6 percent pace of growth in the final months of 2009, and is a bit below the 3.5 percent growth analysts were forecasting.
The growth in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was driven by a 3.6 percent rise in personal consumption expenditures. That is the largest component of GDP and suggests that American consumers are gradually coming out of their shells and returning to stores following the recession that probably ended last year.
You know what that means?
The consumer is back.
And while some within the conservative realm will pretend to be economists and dribble out their pre-screen talking points about how growth would have been better if "this" or "that" had been done, take a look at the chart below.
Granted, the growth at the end of the previous quarter was elevated due to businesses replenishing inventory ( another signal - to me at least - that businesses saw an uptrend coming and they knew they needed product ) but just take a look at how GDP has grown since Obama took office. That's a pretty clear indicator that "socialism" seems to be working.