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Thursday
Sep292011

GDP Increased at Annual Rate of 1.3%, Commerce Dept. Estimates

US Dept of Commerce(WASHINGTON) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called the nation’s unemployment situation a “national crisis” during the Q&A after a speech Wednesday night in Cleveland.

But, in some encouraging news, the Commerce Department this morning revised its second quarter estimate of GDP for the third time, saying it increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent, instead of the previously thought 1 percent announced last month.

In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist with Janney Capital Markets, said the GDP figure was “moderately positive news,” but backward looking and therefore not significant to the markets this morning.

LeBas said the higher than previously stated GDP figure might refute those who believe the country is already in a recession, depending on how you define a recession.

“If you define a recession as high joblessness and ability to get jobs, then we are already in a recession. If you define recession as two quarters of negative growth, then no, we’re not in one,” he said. “I would argue that the distinction is useful for economists, but not useful for the average person.”

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