The Auto-Driven Recovery

Cardiff Garcia flags a striking Credit Suisse factoid: “Vehicle purchases by consumers alone accounted for 30% of all the GDP growth in the last two quarters.”

But like Brad Plumer, I think the even more striking fact is the one illustrated by the cart above this post: Auto sales aren’t especially high. If anything, they seem to be on the low side. What we’re seeing isn’t an unsustainable boom in automobile sales, it’s an unprecented level of weakness in house-building and government purchases that’s leaving the overall recovery remarkably weak.