US: $2.50 Of Debt For Every $1 GDP In 2023

The United States gross domestic product (GDP) grew by $334 billion in Q4, but only on a pile of U.S. Treasury debt that grew by $834 billion over the same period, borrowed money that the economy will have to pay back with interest through higher taxes and higher prices due to inflation, according to a report Wednesday by conservative finance blog Zero Hedge.

The Biden administration’s Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its first revision of Q4 2023 GDP, marking a decrease to 3.2% from the 3.3% of yearly economic growth the bureau reported a month ago and slightly below the consensus estimate of 3.3%.

While 3.2% growth may seem high for the U.S. — many years, it is 2% for the entire year — that growth is on the back of an $834 billion increase in the national debt in Q4. With high prices due to monetary inflation sticking around and the Federal Reserve holding the target interest rate up high, that kind of economic growth is not sustainable over the long term.

Not only is economic growth dependent on consumers not wearing out as inflation from the pandemic sticks around, but riding on an $834 billion expansion of federal debt, the taxpayer had to borrow $2.50 they will have to pay back later for every $1 worth of GDP growth the economy experience in the last quarter of 2024, according to analysis by ZeroHedge.

Many economic forecasters, analysts, and commentators have been looking out for a recession since last year after the V-shaped recovery in the stock market and GDP for the economy following the worldwide asset price crash in Mar. 2022 during the height of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

“Slowing in GDP could be due to negative U.S. inventory accumulations and trade deficits,” said Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank. “Whether these factors will continue dragging on the economy throughout 2023 remains to be seen, but steadily slowing GDP growth could be an advance warning of recession ahead.”

“Manufacturers face big headwinds,” Adams added, warning about supply chain problems that could continue to keep U.S. manufacturing slow.