NAM: GDP numbers encouraging

While the economy grew by a subdued 1.6% in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly pace in 3.5 years, it was the housing sector that provided the overall drag. Outside of housing, a recent Commerce Department advanced report provided “encouraging news on the underlying expansion,” said David Huether, chief economist for NAM.
By Staff December 1, 2006

While the economy grew by a subdued 1.6% in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly pace in 3.5 years, it was the housing sector that provided the overall drag. Outside of housing, a recent Commerce Department advanced report provided “encouraging news on the underlying expansion,” said David Huether, chief economist for NAM.

“Excluding residential investment, the economy grew by 2.7%, nearly identical to the 2.8% average pace so far during this recovery,” Huether said.

Consumer spending, business fixed investment and goods exports all accelerated last quarter.

“With three of the four pillars of the expansion remaining firm, the foundation for continued growth going forward is solid,” Huether said. “Over the last four quarters, business investment has increased by 8% and merchandise exports have risen by 11%,” he added. “This has been good for manufacturers, who account for nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports and manufacture capitol goods.

“Continued strong growth in these areas is one of the primary reasons why manufacturing output has risen by 6.2% over the past year,” Huether said.