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Is Something Starting To Break? Stocks Plummet And Bonds Go Nuts As Economic Data Disappoints

•, By Michael

By now it should be apparent to everyone that we have a "Weekend at Bernie's economy" that is being propped up by unprecedented levels of government spending.  If we actually tried to live within our means, we would immediately plunge into a depression.  Our politicians definitely do not want that, and so about every one hundred days they are adding another trillion dollars to the national debt, and the vast majority of that borrowed money goes directly into the veins of the corpse that we call the U.S. economy.

But even though we are absolutely flooding the system with cash stolen from future generations of Americans, economic performance has been extremely anemic.

On Thursday, the government reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 1.6 percent annualized rate during the first quarter of this year…

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew by 1.6% on an annualized basis in the three-month period from January through March, the Commerce Department said in its first reading of the data on Thursday.

That is much lower than the 2.4% increase forecast by LSEG economists and marks a sharp slowdown from the 3.4% pace seen during the fourth quarter. It is the slowest pace of growth in two years.

"This was a worst of both worlds report — slower than expected growth, higher than expected inflation," said David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth US. "The biggest setback is the acceleration in core inflation, and in particular, the services sector rising above a 5% annual rate."

Even if the GDP numbers were accurate, and I don't believe that they are, that would still be absolutely terrible.

At this point, some pundits are using the term "slowdown" to describe what is happening to the economy…

Some analysts believe Thursday's weaker-than-expected report signals the start of a broader slowdown in the economy.