WHOSE ECONOMY? ...

WHOSE ECONOMY? There are reports out this morning of some high-powered economic numbers this quarter, including a 4.8% rise in the GDP. It's just so awesome! I'm always a bit impressed -- or maybe depressed -- by the superficiality of economic reporting though. To hear the Washington Post tell it, the economic numbers this quarter are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice. But macro data tells you very little about the economic experience of most folks, which accounts for the massive disconnect between how the Bush administration and the media seem to think the economy is doing (tubularly!) and the 63% of the public who think the situation fair or poor. For some more indicative numbers, head over to the Wall Street Journal, where you learn that wages and salaries grew only 0.7% over this period, while prices for U.S. consumers rose 2.7%. The labor market, which has tightened up, is seeing a weird combination of low unemployment without corresponding wage growth. The WSJ seems pleased, as this'll keep inflation down, but workers may feel otherwise.

--Ezra Klein

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