The fourth-quarter 2010 GDP report, released Friday, should convince all but the most diehard double-dippers that that the expansion of 2011 is firmly aloft.
Growth in the fourth quarter at an annual rate of 3.2% not only meant that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product finally exceeded its prerecession peak of Q4 '07, thus signaling the recovery's end.
As mentioned, however, business is slow to hire during a recovery from a recession, which itself boosts output per worker. As confidence builds with the onset of expansion, workers are hired at a faster rate, while productivity growth tends to slow. Look for that to start happening in 2011.
~Gene Epstein, "Economic Beat" writer, Barron's magazine, "GDP: Favorable Auguries", Barron's, January 29, 2011