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Stefan Karlsson

Economic growth, or a slowdown in US productivity?

Economic growth, or a slow down in overall productivity? Analyst Karlsson argues that what many economists had announced as an uptick in employment growth late last year and early this year was actually a slowing of US productivity.

By Guest blogger / May 31, 2012

President Barack Obama pauses in White House on his way to sign the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank Act of 2012 on May 30, 2012. Karlsson argues that what many economists heralded as an uptick in economic growth last year was actually a slowing down of US productivity.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP


It now appears that there wasn't much of a growth acceleration in the US after all. Terms of trade adjusted GDP rose a mere 1.2% at an annualized rate and national income was only slightly stronger during the first quarter.

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Stefan is an economist currently working in Sweden.

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This means that the somewhat higher employment growth we saw during late last year and early this year didn't really reflect as most people thought, an acceleration of economic growth from the "so low it feels like a recession" level that the "Obama recovery" of the last three years has been characterized by. Instead it simply reflected a decline in productivity

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