4:39 PM, Jul 7, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Rebecca Shabad of The Hill reports:
Economic confidence has been holding at a seven-month low, according to a survey released by Gallup on Tuesday. The Economic Confidence Index averaged -8 in June, which Gallup said is statistically tied with May’s -7 reading.
Gallup’s latest figures are keeping the index at the lowest monthly reading since November.
And, one needs to keep in mind that these findings do not reflect consumer reaction to the news from Greece which finally did run out of other people’s money and China where the stock market is cratering with losses measuring in the trillions.So it is not encouraging that:
In June, 42 percent of people said the economy is getting better and just over half said it’s getting worse. A quarter of people described the economy as “excellent” or “good” and 29 percent called it “poor.”
One also needs to remain patient. Recovery takes time.
12:01 AM, Jul 4, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Parades, fireworks, patriotic songs, 150 million hot dogs consumed, 41 million car trips of more than 50 miles -- and heightened security in reaction to Islamist terrorist threats to disrupt our celebration with murder and mayhem as part of their celebration of their holy month of Ramadan. That’s all part of the celebration of our independence from Britain, which at that time specialized in governing us by executive fiat.
1:46 PM, Jun 8, 2015 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Fresh off its widely-mocked exclusive on the traffic citations given Marco and Jeannette Rubio – fewer than one per year, combined – the New York Times has an in-depth look at Scott Walker and the wealthy conservatives who backed him throughout his rise to national prominence. It’s a classic of the genre.
12:01 AM, Jun 6, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
On Friday we learned that the U.S. economy surprised on the upside by adding 280,000 new jobs in May, and that 32,000 more jobs had been created in March and April than originally reported. The fact that economic growth is still sluggish, while more and more workers are finding jobs, suggests that productivity -- output per man-hour -- is slowing.
8:42 AM, Jun 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the unemployment rate ticking up to 5.5 percent and that the economy added 280,000 jobs:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 280,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care. Mining employment continued to decline.
10:37 AM, Jun 2, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
That negative 1st quarter GDP has been widely passed off as the effect of a particularly severe winter. Things, we were assured, were not that bad and would be getting better as the weather warmed. Well, not so fast. The Commerce Department came out this morning with a report on factory orders that was supposed to be in positive territory.
'Things are fine...really they are.'12:00 PM, May 31, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Let’s say that next Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes out with a really handsome non-farm-payrolls report. Something close to 300,000 new jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate by a couple of tenths of a point. How do you suppose the president and his staff would deal with the news?
May 18, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 34 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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5:09 PM, Apr 30, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
After yesterday’s disappointing GDP number (it grew by a meager .2% in the last quarter) we got this from Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors:
12:01 AM, Apr 4, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The economy might, but only might, be slowing. In March we added only 126,000 jobs, the lowest increase since December 2013, barely enough to absorb new entrants into the workforce. Almost all measures of the health of the labor market -- the unemployment rate, the number of workers jobless for more than 27 weeks, the number involuntarily working short hours or too discouraged to continue looking for a job -- remain more or less stuck at present levels.
3:20 PM, Apr 3, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Expectations were for more than 200,000 new jobs. The report, this morning, crushed those expectations. In the old fashioned sense of “crushed.” As Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner writes: