Many will focus on the methodological changes that the Bureau of Economic Analysis introduced this quarter in calculating its estimates of GDP—but in interpreting today’s data we shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees. The most important thing today’s data tells us is that the U.S. economy continues to grow far too slowly (1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013) to reliably improve job prospects, it remains far from healed from the Great Recession, and the root problem remains deficient demand—a problem exacerbated by austerity.
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