Looks like the economy is cooling down:
The economy grew at only a 1.1 percent annual in the fourth quarter of last year, the slowest pace in three years, amid belt-tightening by consumers facing spiraling energy costs.
Even with the feeble showing from October through December, the economy registered respectable overall growth of 3.5 percent for all of 2005 — a year when business expansion was undermined by devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes.
The Commerce Department report, released Friday offered the latest figures on gross domestic product, the best measure of the country’s economic standing.
The 1.1 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter marked a considerable loss of momentum from the third quarter’s brisk 4.1 percent pace. The fourth-quarter’s performance was even weaker than many analysts were forecasting. Before the release of the report, they were predicting the GDP to clock in at a 2.8 percent pace.
It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this news, and this could be more good news for Democrats hoping to regain power in 2006, who, having spent the last three years claiming the economy is terrible will finally be met with a situation in which their rhetoric is close to reality.