Ann Owen, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Economics, was interviewed for an American Public Media Marketplace broadcast on the Thursday, Nov. 7, release of U.S. third quarter gross domestic product numbers. The segment reported GDP rose 2.8 percent, above what economists predicted. That number, according to Marketplace, masks signs of ongoing economic weakness deeper in the report. Real private inventory growth was anemic.
Commenting on this situation, Owen said, “Consumer confidence is low. The unemployment rate is still relatively high, and all of that impacts consumers’ decisions about making purchases.” She said that if she were a retailer approaching the holiday season, she would be concerned about the situation.