Today’s the last business day in May. We’re two months into the second quarter of 2009 now. Here’s hoping June will be a positive month for the economy.

The Commerce Department announced the real gross domestic product (which takes inflation into account and tracks the value of all goods and services produced) number for the first quarter today. The economy shrank by 5.7 percent from the fourth quarter to the first quarter, which is less than the 6.3 percent contraction that happened in the fourth quarter of 2008. So the economy still isn’t growing, but it’s not shrinking as much.

The 5.7 percent is less than the advance estimate of 6.1 percent announced earlier in May. The government attributes this to more complete data.

Bloomberg surveyed 75 economists and their median estimate was a 5.5 percent decline so the real GDP number is just above that.

Tough as it is I think it’s just going to take time. Sometimes I think the media tries to give these stories a positive spin to perhaps jump start the economy by encouraging positive sentiment. That’s probably better than the alternative of doom and gloom but I also think there’s some middle ground.

Maybe the economy will heat up in June, along with the weather.

May 29, 2009