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Monday, June 29, 2009

Romer: Big Stimulus Impact Starts Now

by Calculated Risk on 6/29/2009 10:20:00 AM

From the Financial Times: Romer upbeat on US economy

Ms Romer, chairman of the US president’s council of economic advisers, told the Financial Times in an interview she was “more optimistic” that the economy was close to stabilisation.
Ms Romer said stimulus spending was “going to ramp up strongly through the summer and the fall”.

“We always knew we were not going to get all that much fiscal impact during the first five to six months. The big impact starts to hit from about now onwards,” she said.

Ms Romer said that stimulus money was being disbursed at almost exactly the rate forecast by the Office of Management and Budget. “It should make a material contribution to growth in the third quarter.”

But she acknowledged that cutbacks by states facing budget crises would push in the opposite direction.

Ms Romer said the latest economic data were encouraging, following a weaker patch a month ago. “I am more optimistic that we are getting close to the bottom,” she said.
But she added: “I still hold out hope it will be a V-shaped recovery. It might not be the most likely scenario but it is not as unlikely as many people think.

“We are going to get some serious oomph from the stimulus, there is the inventory cycle and I believe there is some pent-up demand by consumers.”
I think a normal V-shaped recovery is very unlikely since the two usual drivers of economic recovery - residential investment and personal consumption expenditure - will both be crippled for some time.