Oh, that Bush econom…
Oh, that Bush economy.

Commerce Department reported Thursday that economic activity expanded at a 5.6 percent annual rate in the January-to-March period. The revised reading on gross domestic product was an even stronger showing than the 5.3 percent pace estimated for the quarter a month ago.

The new estimate — based on more complete information — matched economists’ forecasts.

The stronger GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country’s trade deficit, which was much less of a drag than previously estimated.

Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the country’s economic fitness.

But not content with good news during a Republican administration, we have to have the obligatory follow-up.

Fresher barometers, however, suggest the economy is slowing.

In a separate report, the Labor Department said new claims filed for unemployment benefits last week rose by 4,000 to 313,000 — a bit more than economists were expecting.

Analysts believe economic growth in the April-to-June quarter could turn out to be half the pace of the first quarter’s. They are predicting growth in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. High energy prices and a more moderate housing market will play roles in the expected slowdown.

“I think the economy is moving from a boil to a simmer,” said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.

So after coming to the top of the hill, analysts believe we’ll be going down now. What would we do without experts?

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