Tags: Aetna CEO | 4 percent growth | econmy | GDP

Aetna CEO Bertolini: It Doesn't Feel Like 4 Percent Growth

By    |   Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:25 AM

The economy may be improving from the first quarter's 2.1 percent contraction, but it doesn't feel like the 4 percent expansion that the Commerce Department reported for the second quarter Wednesday, says Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the country's third-largest health insurer.

"We saw weather impact on healthcare utilization in the first quarter, . . . because people could not get to the doctor," he told CNBC. "We have seen some increase in utilization [since then,] . . . and that would fit with an improving economy."

But asked whether it feels like a 4 percent world, Bertolini quickly said, "no."

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Not surprisingly, most analysts expressed enthusiasm over the latest GDP data.

"The economy is looking pretty darned good,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, told Bloomberg.

"The momentum for the second half is solid. The labor market is driving this growth, which means companies are looking for workers. The big picture looks a lot brighter and is probably more accurate" than the first-quarter GDP reading suggests.

But last week the International Monetary Fund cut its estimate for 2014 U.S. growth to 1.7 percent from 2 percent in June, thanks to the weak first quarter.

The government has hampered economic growth, says Jeffrey Dorfman, an economist at University of Georgia. "Our politicians have chosen so many policies which bring benefits to specific groups but have negative impacts on the economy as a whole," he writes on Forbes.com

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The economy may be improving from the first quarter's 2.1 percent contraction, but it doesn't feel like the 4 percent expansion that the Commerce Department reported for the second quarter Wednesday, says Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna.
Aetna CEO, 4 percent growth, econmy, GDP
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2014-25-30
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:25 AM
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