. April 30, 2008 SouthAmerica: I was watching CNBC around 8:30 AM when the US Government released the GDP figures for the 1st Q 2008. I found interesting all the discussions on that television show about such meaningless information. A few days ago I was talking with a friend of mine that has traveled all over the world and have seen the economy of most countries first hand and he also has a solid knowledge of economics. We were talking about the latest book by Kevin Phillips and also about his article on Harperâs magazine and we both agree that most of the information published by the US government has become completely meaningless including the GDP figures. Today April 30, 2008 the US government has just released the latest GDP figures and the US Government claims that the current-dollar GDP = US$14.2 trillion. My friend and I believe that after you adjust this fairy tale figure the real GDP of the US economy might be on the range of US$ 9 to US$ 10 trillion â the difference between these figures are all the meanings adjustments that they make to inflate the GDP figures calculated by the US Government to show a better performance and a larger economy than the reality. ***** âEconomy grows by only 0.6 percent in 1st quarter of 2008â By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer The Associated Press â April 30, 2008 WASHINGTON - The bruised economy limped through the first quarter of this year at only 0.6 percent as housing and credit problems forced people and businesses alike to hunker down. The country's economic growth during January through March was the same as in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The statistic did not meet what economists consider the classic definition of a recession, which is a retraction of the economy. This means that although the economy is stuck in a rut, it is still managing to grow, even if modestly. Many analysts were predicting that the gross domestic product (GDP) would weaken a bit more â to a pace of just 0.5 percent â in the first quarter. Earlier this year, some economists thought the economy would actually lurch into reverse during the opening quarter. Now, they say they believe that will likely happen during the current April-to-June period. Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is the best measure of the country's economic health. Voters are keenly worried about the country's economic problems and so are politicians â in Congress, in the White House and on the campaign trail. The housing situation turned more bleak in the first quarter, as record-high foreclosures dumped more unsold homes on the market, adding to builders' headaches. Builders slashed spending on housing projects by a whopping 26.7 percent, on an annualized basis, the most in 27 years. That was the big drag on the economy. Consumers â whose spending is vital to the country's economic health â turned much more cautious, also restraining overall economic growth in the first quarter. Their spending rose at just a 1 percent pace. That was down from a 2.3 percent growth rate and was the slowest since the second quarter of 2001, when the United States was suffering through its last recession. Soaring energy and food prices are walloping people's pocketbooks, leaving them with less to spend on other things. The credit crunch also has made it harder for people to finance big ticket items, such as cars and homes. And, many homeowners â watching their homes â often their single-biggest asset â slump in value, also are feeling less wealthy and less inclined to spendâ¦. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080430/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/economy .