Gross domestic product increases nearly 3 percent in fourth quarter, economics professors cautiously optimistic

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Scott Gilbert, associate professor of economics at Southern Illinois University, said the 2.9 percent increase in real gross domestic product from quarter 3 to quarter 4 of 2022 is a positive sign. 

In terms of its total output, the growth of the economy was pretty robust, pretty healthy, pretty strong,” he said. “For an economist, if the economy is tanking, it’s doing it in several directions for six months at a time. That would be bad, and we would be in a recession, but we see a strong economic growth. We see the labor market, a lot of demand for jobs.” 

In layman’s terms, the gross domestic product measures the total value of all the goods and services that the United States produces over the course of a year.  

From 2020 to 2021, the gross domestic product increased by 5.9 percent, while from 2021 to 2022, it increased by 2.1 percent, which Gilbert said is back to relatively normal. 

“We kind of caught back with our way of life, and we’ve taken steps forward, and a positive, good step forward of about 2 percent in the year after is even more impressive,” he said. “It’s not to say these last two years were bad. It’s just we had a very extraordinary transition out of a horrible time.” 

Chen Wu, associate professor of economics at Southeast Missouri State, said the growth from quarter 3 to quarter 4 is a good step in the right direction, but there are still concerns. 

“It’s a good sign, it seems we’re doing well,” she said. “We’re still growing, but a problem still is the tight job market because that’s a huge cost and a burden on the business.” 

So, there are some things to be encouraged about, but still some things to keep an eye on, like the job market and the monetary policy put forth by the Federal Reserve.

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