The BEA releases its advance estimate of 2008 Q4 real GDP on January 30. There is a chance (admittedly, less than 50%) that it will show that real GDP was HIGHER in Q4 than in Q3.
If so, the release will unleash a huge political and economic debate. Washington will be in the middle of the preparation of a massive stimulus package. The employment numbers (December employment is released Jan 9) will undoubtedly help the case for stimulus, but real GDP growth would make a great case against. How can we justifying a huge spending bill if GDP were seen to grow without it?