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A New York Stock Exchange trader looks on minutes before the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by one-quarter of a percentage point today. - 


Scott Jagow: Recession? What recession? Today, the government gave us the final GDP numbers for the third quarter. The economy grew at a rate of 4.9 percent. That's pretty darn impressive, considering what's been going on. Fastest pace in four years. Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: Economist Jack Albertine is an optimist. But today's numbers surprised even him. Now, he's even more optimistic. Keep your party hats on, he says -- consumers are going to continue powering the economy along.

Jack Albertine: People are employed, they're working overtime. Bonuses have been pretty good this Christmas season.

But other economists say the Grinch is just around the corner.

Bernard Baumohl is managing director of the Economic Outlook Group:

Bernard Baumohl: The housing recession has gotten worse, home prices have plummeted, we've seen a continuation of the weakening in the job-growth numbers.

Plus, the so-called core rate of inflation was up 2 percent in the third quarter, much higher than the 1.4 percent pace of the second quarter.

If the Fed keeps lowering interest rates, cheaper money could fuel inflation as people spend more, chasing up prices.

I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.