Not looking so good, is it?
The prospects for an economic recovery by year's end dimmed yesterday, as government data showed that the economy contracted at the end of 2008 by the fastest pace in a quarter-century. The worse-than-expected data fueled doubts about whether the Obama administration had adequately sized up the challenges it faces in trying to pull the country out of recession.
Gross domestic product, a measure of the goods and services produced across the nation, shrank at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2008, according to the Commerce Department, far worse than the initial estimate of 3.8 percent and the 5 percent most analysts were expecting. The downward revision means the economy began the year from an even weaker position than previously thought.
"The economy really doesn't have any momentum going into the first quarter," Wachovia economist John Silvia said. "To the extent the economy may have been weaker, then the impact of the stimulus would be more muted."
Which was the argument Krugman and others were making for a much larger stimulus package.