The December estimates put into the GDP are about as solid as a Jello mold.
Worse, according to economist John Williams, 3.44 percentage points of the annualized growth in the fourth quarter -- more than the total 3.2 percent reported -- came from a sudden, inexplicable decline in imports.
Without the reduction in imports GDP would have been down in the fourth quarter and we'd be hearing talk right now -- again -- about a possible double-dip recession!
The Commerce Dept. also attributed a lot of the gain in fourth quarter GDP to retail spending.
But we already know -- from a column I did during the holiday shopping season -- that much of the sales increase in December wasn't coming from a sudden burst in consumerism, but instead from rising prices on things like energy.
That isn't growth; it is inflation. And inflation is bad.