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Alternative Visions – US GDP Latest Release + Preview of New Book ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’

Dr. Rasmus provides his analysis of US GDP estimates for 1st quarter 2019 out today.  1st quarter GDP is over-estimated, he argues, due to boost in due to an excessive, one time boost in business inventory accumulation and decline in US imports, both of which are temporary events that will reverse soon in subsequent quarters. The real base of the US economy—i.e. business investment in structures, housing and equipment and household consumption (together 80% of GDP) show stagnation at best: Consumption grew only 1.2% annual rate in 1st quarter (with durables down -5.3%) and business investment slowed to only 2.7% (after hundreds of billions $ of Trump tax cuts for business a year ago). Rasmus predicts investment and consumption will continue to lag in 2019, while inventories and trade effects will dissipate quickly.  Global economic developments are discussed in what’s behind rising oil prices and the re-emergence of currency instability, especially in Argentina and Latin America. The show concludes with Dr. Rasmus providing an overview of his forthcoming book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, and why most contemporary accounts of Neoliberalism offer only a partial explanation of what it’s about and miss understanding Neoliberalism at capitalist restructuring, ideological justification, and political institutional change. (Next week: An excerpt from the book on Neoliberalism under Obama and now Trump).

 

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