12:34 PM, Jan 30, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.
Yet, there are still a lot of people who are not in the labor force. Many who are working who haven’t seen any improvement in their economic fortunes for the last six years, and longer. A troubling number of young people who have more debt than prospects.
So it is disturbing when Bloomberg reports that:
The economy in the U.S. expanded at a slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter as cooling business investment, a slump in government outlays and a widening trade gap took some of the luster off the biggest gain in consumer spending in almost nine years. Gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate after a 5 percent gain in the third quarter that was the fastest since 2003, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance.
So the question now is:
Will the recovery … well, recover?
1:09 PM, Jan 21, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
What should be a recovery on steroids – after all, it has had six years to get in shape – is still not up to speed. If there were as many people in the labor force now, as there were when President Obama came into office, the unemployment rate would be close to 10%. And the spirit of entrepreneurship has dimmed to the point that, as Gallup finds:
10:23 PM, Jan 12, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Protesters gathered outside the Clinton Foundation in New York City to complain about "missing money" from the Haiti recovery effort from the 2010 earthquake:
"New Yorkers with roots in Haiti say the picture [of the Haiti recovery] isn't so rosy," said the NY1 anchor.
The protesters claimed that the $10 billion meant to help rebuild Haiti did little to help the country after the devastating quake. And that much of the money went to non-Haitian companies.
12:12 PM, Oct 2, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Carol E. Lee of the Wall Street Journal reports that the president will be turning his attention back (“pivoting,” it is called) to the economy in an effort to get Democrats elected next month.
3:26 PM, Sep 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Ben Casselman and Reuben Fischer-Baum of 538 have gone inside the numbers (as they say) of the economic recovery and their findings are not comforting.
From the recovery.
10:43 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Slow growth is bad for everyone. Including the government, which depends (sort of) on tax revenues to do its job. Now, as Kasia Klimasinska of Bloomberg reports:
9:01 AM, Jun 26, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Reports from the economic front, this week, have been discouraging. Especially yesterday's revise in first quarter GDP to almost three percent negative growth. A contraction, in other words. Another one of those, on the back of that one, and we are officially in a recession.
8:42 AM, Jun 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Weekly first time unemployment claims came in almost exactly as expected (which, in itself, is sort of unexpected) at 312,000. One thousand less than economists were predicting and 6,000 less than last week. Which amounts to something like treading water. We aren’t drowning, but we aren’t getting any closer to shore, either.
10:19 AM, May 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
More evidence that the legs of the long economic recovery may be getting less wobbly. First-time jobless claims fell, last week, to a seven-year low and beat, on the downside, economists’ predictions by a large margin.
2:38 PM, May 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
But just how bad was the first quarter for the American economy? Commerce Department GDP came in at .1 percent growth, which is treading water, but barely.
3:27 PM, Apr 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Politicians looking for work and calling themselves “Democrats” are being advised to avoid using the word “recovery.” As the AP reports:
Election-year memo to Democratic candidates … Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that in head-to-head polling tests the mere mention of the word "recovery" is trumped by a Republic
11:01 AM, Sep 24, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Consumer confidence fell to 79.7 in September from last month's (revised 81.8).