High gas prices, bad weather, the housing slump and a myriad of other problems kept economic growth at bay for the first quarter of 2011. The U.S. economy only grew by 1.8% during the first quarter of 2011 as opposed to a growth rate around 3% for the fourth quarter of 2010.
Experts say this is “temporary” and we should expect to see economic growth at 3% for the rest of the year. Experts are also saying gas prices should stabilize, but gas prices have gone up .30 cents since the end of the first quarter. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.88 as of today.
What can we do? Cut back unnecessary spending and hope for the best.
I can say from personal experience, at least around Pottstown, that people were out in force shopping for Easter. Shopping centers, malls, grocery stores and restaurants benefitted from the spring holiday. One local store said their sales were at Christmas levels over the Easter weekend.