Michelle Girard is a managing director and senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). She appears often on NBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox News.
Harlan Levy: What do the broad-based decline in durable goods orders, weak housing numbers, and job, unemployment, and jobless claim data indicate about the U.S. economy through next year?
Michelle Girard: We definitely have seen some disappointing economic reports in recent weeks. This has led many, including ourselves, to lower their expectations for growth in the second quarter. However, we always believed that the second quarter growth rate of the economy would disappoint, in part due to temporary factors.
In particular, we worried that the run-up in gasoline prices in the spring would restrain consumer spending and also that supply disruptions associated with the earthquake in Japan would lead to weaker manufacturing activity. That said, we still expect growth in the second half of
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