This is from, of all places, Maurice Newman’s article in The Oz today on Trump’s news might be bad for his forgotten flock. So which is the absolutely wrong word in this passage?
Despite a decade of easy money, continued fiscal stimulus and a personal savings rate that has tumbled from 6.6 per cent to 2.4 per cent in just 12 years, the US economy during calendar 2017 grew at 2.5 per cent, hardly a number to write home about. Indeed, adjusted for the once-off hurricane rebuild effect, it managed just 1.5 per cent in the last quarter.
It is, of course, the first word, “despite”. If he had said instead, “because of …” then all would be clear. Artificially low rates of interest, high levels of unproductive public spending and falling savings are the very recipe for stagnation.