The latest numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that the U.S. economy grew by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and 2.1 percent for 2022. While the White House was quick to take credit for the state of the nation’s economy, they might want to think twice. This latest report should have alarm bells ringing, not have trumpets sounding.
That’s because economic growth is slowing down. Even the areas which contributed positively to gross domestic product (GDP) are not necessarily signs of prosperity. For example, business investment grew at only 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, but that was almost entirely inventory growth. Nonresidential investment, a key driver of future economic growth, was up just 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, residential investment fell off a cliff, dropping 26.7 percent as consumers were unable to afford the combination of high home prices, high interest rates, and falling real incomes. No wonder homeownership affordability has fallen to the lowest level in that metric’s history.