On the money: The economic picture
February 8, 2013
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be out with its quarterly economic briefing Friday. Martin Regalia, the Chamber’s in-house economist, will offer his take on where the economy is headed, as will top economists from the American Trucking Association, the American Petroleum Institute, and housing giant Freddie Mac.
The briefing will come on the heels of the Commerce Department’s eye-opening report on the economic growth of the last quarter of 2012. Or, to be more precise, the lack of it. The new report showed the economy actually shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, driven primarily by a tightening on federal spending, especially in the defense industry, which saw a 22 percent dip. Some pointed to the report as proof that uncertainty over the “fiscal cliff” and the pending sequester were weighing on the economy. But others found plenty of silver lining throughout, as solid gains in other economic sectors indicated a recovery continuing to gain steam in more fundamental areas.