The economy was expanding at a slow rate in the fourth quarter of 2012 and into the first quarter of 2013, despite higher exports of services and increases in business investment, Reuters reported, citing a release from the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The growth of gross domestic product from September to December 2012 was the slowest since the first quarter in 2011, but slightly higher than the 0.1 percent the government had initially estimated.
Fear not, there were some bright spots on the report too. The government reported that business investment rose at 13.2 percent, which is more than initially expected, thanks to an increase in construction spending. Imports fell by 4.2 percent, a good thing since obviously buying goods from other nations results in less money being spent at home.
The New York Times reports that the economy is growing at a rate of about 2.5 percent in the current first quarter of 2013, citing steady hiring, further gains in housing, and more business spending as the the causes. Still, applications for unemployment benefits rose during the week ending March 23 to roughly 357,000.
So what does this mean for the small business community? Basically, this reaffirms what we’ve been saying and hearing from our small business friends all along. We know growth is happening in the economy, but it’s certainly no anything to write home about as of yet and we’ve still got quite a long way to go before it’s “healthy” again.
Stay tuned for the government to release the intital reports for the first-quarter 2013 growth on April 26.
In the meantime, what do you think about the economic growth reports? Is your small business showing any signs of growth or recovery?