You probably should have spent the week at "Extreme Beer Fest" in Boston -- because stocks just stumbled for the third day this week. Following some mixed news on America's GDP, the Dow (DJINDICES:^DJI) dipped a meager four points Thursday.
U.S. Economy officially grows 1.9% in 2013
The year 2013 is in the books; mark it down. Use permanent marker. Get a tattoo if you want. Growth for the U.S. economy was 1.9% for all of 2013. The growth figure is official after the Commerce Department reported Thursday the third and final reading of the fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product, which came in at 2.6%.
You want some perspective? The last two quarters of 2013 were damn good (4.1% and 2.6%). In the post-financial crisis world for developed countries, that streak of pretty strong growth is like Archie Griffin winning the Heisman trophy twice. Still, full-year growth of the country's total economic production (measured by the GDP) was modest, and 1.9% gets a "C-" from an historical perspective.
It's better than 2009, so we can celebrate. The year after the crisis, the economy shrank by -2.8%. Since then, the U.S. has grown at 2.5%, 1.8%, 2.8%, and 2.6% in the past four years. It's decent, but nothing like the 3+% growth in the 2000s, or the 4+% growth in the raging 1990s. Investors watch this number because a country's GDP is the first possible metric you can consider for a country's buying power, and buying is pretty darn important for U.S. stocks.
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As originally published on MarketSnacks.com
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