William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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WELCOME TO THE RECOVERY – AT 9:03 A.M. ET:  This is a stunner.  It turns out that the American economy, presumably in a "recovery," actually contracted in the final, retail-sales-intensive, quarter of 2012.  This raises the most serious economic questions.  From CNBC: 

The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.

The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That's a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy's ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.

COMMENT:  Yeah, I'd say there'll be questions.  But don't expect them from the potted plants in the mainstream media. 

This "recovery" was always fragile, in part because it's a recovery without new jobs and without any economic vision.  I'd also point out that the worrisome international picture isn't doing us much economic good.

And defense spending, a critical part of the economy, is due to be cut even more dramatically, with the prospect of tens of thousands of layoffs.

But I wonder how Hillary is feeling today.

January 30, 2013