As you probably know by now, GDP declined at an annual rate of 0.3 percent in the 3rd quarter (July-September). Menzie Chinn has a good post at Econbrowser breaking down the components of the GDP numbers. One number jumped out at me: defense spending contributed 0.9 percentage points of GDP growth. Put another way, if defense spending had remained flat in Q3, GDP would have declined at an annual rate of 1.2 percent.
Now, there may be very valid reasons for an uptick in defense spending. For one thing, our military’s equipment is being depleted by the wars (and in some respects the equipment was insufficient to begin with). But I’m not sure we can count on it in future quarters – or that we want to count on it.