Is the Economy Turning Sluggish?

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From Catherine Rampell:

When 2011 began, Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting company, expected that America’s economic output would shape up to rise at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the highest pace in over a year….Today, after an especially weak report on February’s trade deficit, the group’s economists lowered their first quarter G.D.P. estimate to a sorry 1.5 percent annualized. If borne out, that rate would be slower than each of the last two quarters, at a time when the economy desperately needs to be rocketing forward so that companies will hasten their hiring.

Who knows? Maybe Macroeconomic Advisers will turn out to be wrong. But it’s sure looking more and more like this is an awfully bad time to start cutting federal spending.

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