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GDP up 2.5 percent, economy continues to grow

Marketplace Staff Nov 23, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: There’s word today from the government that the economy grew at a faster clip between July and September than originally expected. The latest revision to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the GDP, has it up 2.5 percent, as opposed to an initial reading of just 2 percent.

John Sylvia is chief economist with Wells-Fargo Bank. He’s with us live from Charlotte, North Carolina this morning. Good morning John.

JOHN SYLVIA: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: How do we look at this number? What does this say about the economy right now?

SYLVIA: It says the economy continues to grow, perhaps at a pace a little bit below the trend in past economic recoveries. But the growth is there.

CHIOTAKIS: What’s driving this number? Any sector that sort of pops out?

SYLVIA: The two sectors that really do drive this are equipment and software spending, that continues to be very strong double-digit gains, and the consumer — very steady pace.

CHIOTAKIS: Very steady pace. Anything that needs improvement though, do you think?

SYLVIA: There are lots of areas for improvement, if we’re going to get back to basically the traditional trend growth of 3.25 percent and particularly the American consumer that structures of non-residential construction continues to be negative, and that’s a disappointment.

CHIOTAKIS: Typically, if we see a change like this, a higher economic output between the initial GDP and the revised figure which we’re seeing today. Does that mean the final number is likely to be better?

SYLVIA: A good point — yes the final number is going to be better. But it also says there’s more forward momentum in the economy. So the fourth quarter which is the quarter we’re currently in is probably going to be another two and half percent, perhaps three percent quarter. So the economy does have good forward momentum.

CHIOTAKIS: I want to ask you in our final 30 seconds, what’s it going to take — when are we going to know we’re there, that the economy has really recovered? What number?

SYLVIA: It’s consumer confidence. Once the American consumer believes that there are opportunities are there, they’ll move forward and that’s when the consumer number will jump and we’ll get the 3 percent numbers that we’ve been waiting for.

CHIOTAKIS: For GDP.

CHIOTAKIS: You got it.

SYLVIA: John Sylvia from Wells-Fargo in Charlotte. Thanks.

SYLVIA: Sure.

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