In Q1 2017, the Economy Grew at Its Slowest Pace in Three Years
Nicole Dieker

It means nothing. Really just something for the news outlets to talk about barring anything better. These types of measurements fluctuate all the time; it’s only when we see multiple data points in the same direction that one could say that a trend is forming.

Both articles state that lower spending on cars and oil usage are dragging down growth in overall consumer spending and other categories. The latter is easily explained by a relatively warm winter in the US and by relatively low oil prices. The former is easily explained by the fact that auto sales have been ridiculously strong for the past few years — lots of manufacturers have been providing incentives and making it easy for people to get into new cars (and offering ridiculous financing options that make sub-prime auto loans our next likely financial crisis).

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