Things are picking up...

@iriscot (1290)
United States
July 20, 2009 4:17pm CST
Economic indicators up more than expected in June By Tali Arbel The Associated Press Monday, July, 20, 2009; 3:56 PM http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072001001.html?hpid=topnews NEW YORK – More plans to build homes, higher stock prices and fewer people filing first-time claims for jobless aid sent a private-sector forecast of U. S. economic activity higher than expected in June. It was the third straight monthly increase for the New York-based Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators, and another sign pointing toward the recession ending later this year. The index rose 0.7 percent last month. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a gain of 0.4 percent. May’s reading was revised up to a gain of 1.3 percent from 1.2 percent, while April was scaled back to 1 percent growth from 1.1 percent. The group also said activity in the six-month period through June rose 2 percent, with an annual growth rate of 4.1 percent. That’s the strongest rate since the first quarter of 2006. The index is meant to project economic activity in the next three to six months. If these conditions continue, "expect a slow recovery this autumn," said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. The Conference Board's leading indicators index bottomed in March after peaking in July 2007. The decline accelerated last fall after investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed and credit markets froze. "We're now getting data which points to stabilization," said Josh Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at research firm MFR Inc. "The overall signal they're sending is the slide in economic activity is poised to end. The jury is still very much out in terms of what happens after that." Many analysts expect modest economic growth in the fourth quarter after the gross domestic product posted the worst six-month performance in about 50 years at the end of 2008 and beginning of this year. Stocks rose on Wall Street after the better-than-expected index reading and on reports that commercial lender CIT Group had reached a deal with bondholders to avoid bankruptcy. The Dow Jones industrial average added about 50 points in afternoon trading, and broader indices also gained. Seven of the Conference Board index's 10 indicators rose in June, including building permits, stock prices, manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and positive readings on jobs. Consumer expectations, manufacturers' orders for capital goods and the real money supply weighed down the forecast. The biggest gainer was the "interest rate spread." That's the difference between yields on 10-year Treasurys and the federal funds rate, at which banks lend to one another, which is at a record low near zero. A big difference between the two is viewed as positive because investors are willing to lend for longer periods. A government report last week showed construction of new U.S. homes in June rose to the highest level in seven months. That was the "most positive housing report in ages," said IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport. The slump in housing led the country into the longest recession since World War II. The downturn has pushed the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent. The Federal Reserve expects joblessness to surpass 10 percent this year and to stay above healthy levels for years. A survey released Monday showed the number of firms planning layoffs later this year has dipped. Twenty-eight percent of the companies polled by the National Association for Business Economics said they were still considering cutting jobs through attrition or layoffs in the next six months. That's down from one-third in April and 39 percent in January. Only 18 percent of employers polled said they expected to start hiring, but that's the highest level in a year. The NABE's survey of 102 forecasters at companies and trade associations was taken June 19 through July 1. Mass layoffs continue across many sectors, but the pace and depth of job cuts have slowed. Continued………………
3 responses
• United States
20 Jul 09
They gotta get away from wall street and really see whats going on, since manufacturing is gone for good all we have in this country is construction and housing and niether has even hit bottom yet. Still have all those adjustable mortgages out there that didn't even start getting factored into economic data yet.
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
20 Jul 09
I agree that Wall Street doesn't know it all, but it has always been a good indicator of what the economic system nation wide it doing. By the way some stimulus money has been coming into our community and it will certainly help to finance the building of a badly needed sewer plant and some sewer main replacement. Area steel plant workers went back to work on July 1st after the plant was completely shut down last September or October. Work has started on new bridges for the new highway between neighboring towns. So these three things alone have put a lot of people to work. I'm sorry that things aren't looking up in your area!
• United States
20 Jul 09
I don't proclaim to be a financial expert or anything but I do pay attention and have always heard that a stock market rising for no reason is a strong indicator of pending higher interest rates which will cripple us. As far as steel goes if they're union then I'm sure thats Obama paying his buddies back and as far as bridges and roads that work only lasts so long then what?? and where do we buy the supplies at now, China. Around my area they got one of them funded road work projects going on but it's an outta town union outfit not a local one. I'm not totally knocking unions or anything either. Just My opinion. Good post though!!
@snowy22315 (43998)
• United States
21 Jul 09
I would think that the economic recovery will continue. I think that there are alot of things that can and will improve. We will just have to wait and see what sorts of things will happen with the recovery. I dont think anything really good or major is going to happen, but a slow path to recovery will probably be the best.
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
21 Jul 09
The projects that I wrote about were what they called "shovel ready" and have been on the drawing board for some time, and are being helped by the stimulus. Thanks for the comment, it seems some people would rather have the present administration "do nothing" and let the economy rot into a depression. It's sad that there are so many who have little vision.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
21 Jul 09
Interesting when the Dow Jones hit 13,000 during the Bush administration, we were told Wall Street did not matter, only Main Street matter. Did we all just forget the highest the Dow Jones has ever been was during the worst economy for twenty years. So I guess the Dow Jones only matter when a Democrat is President, am I right? So what the Dow Jones went up a little bit, of course it should. When every the stock market hits rock bottom, it raises back up, buy low sell high. The day after the stock market crash of 29, was the highest one day increase. So did Herbert Hoover do something right?
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
21 Jul 09
This is still a free country and you have the right to form any opinion that you choose. So what you are saying is that Herbert Hoover decided that the economy and stock market should start at zero and go from there? So in your opinion he definately cause the crash of 29?