Cross Timbers Business Report, Volume 3, Number 1, Winter 1988 Page: 3
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Gross National Product shows increase
Real Gross National Product increased
in all four quarters of 1988, extending the
nation's economic recovery to more than six
years. Although this news was welcome to the
average income earner and job seeker, analysts
expressed fear that this strength of economic
growth cannot be maintained without generat-
ing inflationary pressure in future months.
According to the Commerce
Department's latest quarterly report, the infla-
tion adjusted measure of the nation's economic
output increased at an annual rate of two per-
cent in the final three months of last year. This
move followed a 2.4 percent growth rate in the
July-September period. The year's last half
acceleration rate was considerably slower than
the January-June output increase, which aver-
aged 5.4 percent. However, last summer's
drought, which depressed agricultural output,
was thought to have stripped as much as 0.5
percent off the third quarter's output gain and
1.1 percent off the fourth quarter's advance.
Factoring out this influence led some econo-
mists to fear that the economy is becoming
overheated, and raised the specter of higher
inflation in 1989.
Fourth quarter statistics also raised
concerns on other fronts. Two areas which
contributed to the quarter's slow growth rate
were declines in net exports and business capi-
tal investment. Both of these movements con-
tinued trends begun in the third quarter. The
deterioration in net exports was evidence that
the country was no longer making progress in its
effort to improve its balance of payments. The
falloff in capital spending implied that business
productivity may fall short of booming con-
sumer demand in coming months, adding to
GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
4riMe" of 1982 om'
Inflation, as measured by the GNP defla-
tor advanced at a four percent annual rate in
1988's final quarter. This growth followed
upward movements of 3.5 percent, five percent,
and 5.3 percent in the first three quarters of last
Cross Timbers labor
According to the most current statistical
estimate by the Texas Employment Commission
the average level of Erath county unemployment
in 1988 was identical to that of the year before.
All other Cross Timbers counties exhibited lower
average jobless ratios last year than in 1987.
In Erath county the unemployment rate
moved unevenly upward from 5.3 percent in
January to 5.7 percent in July. The jobless rate
then moved lower for four consecutive months
before jumping back to 4.7 percent at yearend.
The rate of idleness averaged 4.2 percent in both
1987 and 1988.
The Bosque county unemployment rate
Jumped from 3.8 percent in Janary to 5 percent
in February, then moved generally lower for the
rest of the year to end at 3.2 percent. The four
percent average jobless ratio for last year com-
pares favorably to a mean of 4.9 percent for all
In Comanche county the rate ofJobless-
ness moved from seven percent in January to
7.7 percent in March, then eased back to 5.9
percent by yearend. The Comanche county
unemployment ratio averaged 6.2 percent last
year. The average rate of Joblessness for 1987
was 7.1 percent.
The unemployment rate of Eastland
county moved irregularly upward over most of
last year, from 6.8 percent in January to 7.5
percent in November. The county finished the
year with a 7.1 percent idleness ratio. Eastland
county's jobless rate averaged 6.8 percent in
1988. The 1987 mean was 7.8 percent.
Hamilton county's unemployment sta-
tistic moved upward from 4.3 percent in Janu-
ary to 5.6 percent in May, then eased back to
four percent at year end. Joblessness averaged
4.1 percent of the labor force in 1988, slightly
better than the 4.2 percent figure posted in
0184 02 03 040185 02 03 040186 02 03 .04 0187 02 03 040188 02 03 04
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Tarleton State University. Department of Social Sciences. Cross Timbers Business Report, Volume 3, Number 1, Winter 1988, periodical, Winter 1989; Stephenville, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth298182/m1/3/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Tarleton State University.