The government just revised second-quarter GDP to 3.3% from the original 1.9%. That's a pretty hefty increase.
Record exports and the temporary stimulus from the tax rebates prevented the economy from stalling as housing slumped and companies cut expenditures. Consumer spending is now waning and slower growth abroad dims the outlook for foreign sales, signaling last quarter will be the year's highpoint.
"Outside of trade, the economy is considerably weaker," said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. "When you look at the spending, it looks terrible for the second half of the year."
I'm not too interested in the debate of, "are we or are we not in a recession." Consider, however, a few facts.
Imports have now declined for three straight quarters, and four of the last five.
Fixed investment has declined for four straight quarters.
Residential investment has fallen for 10 straight quarters.