The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced this morning that GDP (gross domestic product) grew at an annual rate of only 0.2% in the first quarter of this year, at the bottom end of the range of analysts’ expectations.
However, while the “pie” grew by 0.2%, the number of people crowded around the table, grew at an annual rate of 0.8%, thanks entirely to immigration. As a result, per capita GDP – everyone’s share of the pie – fell at an annual rate of 0.6% – a recessionary figure. Here’s a chart of real per capita GDP since 2000: Real Per Capita GDP. Since the onset of the “Great Recession” in the 4th quarter of 2007, GDP has risen by only 2.7%. That’s an annual growth rate of only 0.4% – virtually no growth at all.
And here’s something else I find interesting. Check this chart of the percent change in GDP since 2005: Change in Real Per Capita GDP. Notice that, since the recovery from the recession began in 2009, the frequency of negative quarters is increasing. From the 3rd quarter of 2009 until the first quarter of 2011, six quarters passed before we had a negative quarter. Then another six quarters passed before a 2nd negative quarter. But, after that, there were only four quarters between negative quarters. Most recently, there were only three quarters of positive growth before another negative quarter.
This recovery, fed by stimulus spending and $4.5 trillion in “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve – both of which have dried up – has run out of gas. The economy is teetering on the brink of another recession. It’s no surprise. Nothing has been done to remedy the conditions that precipitated the last recession – our huge trade deficit and out-of-control immigration-fueled population growth. In fact, it was falling exports that led the decline in per capita GDP in the first quarter. Remember Obama’s pledge to double exports by 2015? Never happened. Not even close.
Contrary to the talk that you hear about a recovery that’s gathering momentum, or a slowdown that is only transitory, this economy is sick and is in serious trouble. Its capacity for serving as a “host” to prop up the economies of badly overpopulated nations is practically depleted. It’s now totally dependent on deficit spending and money-printing. And equity markets have transitioned from vehicles for investing in the economy into a scheme for sopping up money from central banks. Investors are playing a dangerous game of chicken with central banks when bad economic news is welcomed in the hopes of raising the odds of more money-printing. Never have we entered a recession with interest rates already at zero and with a balance sheet that already has the Federal Reserve feeling queasy. The ability of these economic gimmicks to mask the effects of overpopulation and a host-parasite trade regime has nearly run its course. Watch out!