July 31, 2007
— Ace What's worse in Rep. Clyburn's opinion, I wonder? A healthy US economy or a victory in Iraq?
The economy had its best quarter in a year but sluggish consumer activity raised concerns about the second-half of the year.
In the second quarter, U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 3.4% annual rate, the Commerce Department said Friday.
That's a bit faster than the 3.2% forecast by Wall Street and a nice rebound from meager first-quarter growth of just 0.6%.
Gains were driven by growth in exports, higher government spending and improved spending on infrastructure.
But there was more evidence that shoppers are tiring. Consumer spending, by far the most important piece of the economy, rose at a 1.3% rate in the second quarter, down from a 3.7% in the first.
Meanwhile, price pressures continued to ease. The GDP report's core consumer price index rose at a 1.4% rate in the second quarter, a four-year low.
That puts inflation solidly in the Fed's unofficial "comfort zone" of a 1%-2% inflation rate.
The media's relentless poor-mouthing of the economy isn't as effective lately as it has been previously.
onsumer confidence hit a six-year high in July, a widely watched gauge of sentiment showed on Tuesday, as Americans shrugged off falling home prices to focus on a healthy jobs market, instead.
The New York-based Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index, rebounded to 112.6, its highest level since August 2001 when it recorded a 114.0 reading. That compared to a revised 105.3 in June. The July 24 cutoff for the preliminary survey of 5,000 U.S. households was before last week's stock market tumble, however.
"An improvement in business conditions and the job market has lifted consumers' spirits in July," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about short-term economic prospects, mainly the result of a decline in the number of pessimists, not an increase in the number of optimists. This rebound in confidence suggests economic activity may gather a little momentum in the coming months."
The Present Situation index, which measures how shoppers feel now about economic conditions, increased to 139.2 from 129.9 in June. That was the highest level since August 2001's 144.5 reading. The Expectations Index, which measures shoppers' outlook for the next six months, rose to 94.8 from 88.8.
Economists closely monitor confidence since consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity.
I guess that hoped-for recession isn't quite here yet.
Meanwhile, the global economy is doing gangbusters business, so, sadly, no help for Harry Reid from his foreign friends.
Posted by: holdfast at July 31, 2007 09:53 AM (Gzb30)
>>Personally, I'm a bit bearish on the market
holdfast, you could be right. But economy and markets don't always go hand-in-hand. We could have a strong economy and a tepid market.
It is tiresome how the MSM finds the dark lining around every silver cloud. When a Repub is in office, they concentrate on only the bad aspect of economy, and reverse that when a Donk gets in office.
Posted by: Tushar D at July 31, 2007 09:59 AM (IlgNp)
Posted by: DL from Heidelberg at July 31, 2007 10:02 AM (Xgml6)
Perky. I've never heard of economic growth being referred to as "perky." Can we also speak of the deep throbbing in the nether regions of consumer confidence? The pert hardness of new housing starts, or perhaps the trembling moistness of the Fed's official "comfort zone"?
Working for the Conference Board just looks better and better all the time.
Posted by: Plinko at July 31, 2007 10:04 AM (x8Std)
Posted by: someone at July 31, 2007 10:08 AM (eCH82)
It's from the Couric School of Economic Thought.
Posted by: IllTemperedCur at July 31, 2007 10:08 AM (tVbxd)
Posted by: quiggs at July 31, 2007 10:10 AM (rXafI)
Posted by: JDTAY at July 31, 2007 10:11 AM (Mnhre)
I love Dennis Miller. The "this is starship," gag gets me every friggen time!
Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 10:14 AM (QTv8u)
Posted by: sherlock at July 31, 2007 10:15 AM (jdXw+)
Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 10:16 AM (QTv8u)
still my favorite line. it should be revisited. definitely evergreen.
Posted by: carl carlson at July 31, 2007 10:18 AM (M0ujS)
Posted by: Bosk at July 31, 2007 10:32 AM (+aNmG)
Posted by: IreneFingIrene at July 31, 2007 10:33 AM (s7Ian)
"...mainly the result of a decline in the number of pessimists, not an increase in the number of optimists."
What happened? did we have a massive event that killed off large numbers of pessimists? It seems hard to imagine that there would a large number of people who are neither optimists nor pessimists, at least in a narrowly focused economic study.
Posted by: Mike S at July 31, 2007 10:45 AM (/4imY)
Posted by: ricpic at July 31, 2007 10:56 AM (0FRi9)
Posted by: Usagi BimJimbo at July 31, 2007 01:24 PM (Ivufb)
Posted by: TWODOGS at August 01, 2007 03:03 AM (ljcNo)
"It's from the Couric School of Economic Thought..."
The words "Couric" and "thought" are NEVER to appear in the same sentence, unless "thought" is preceded by phrases such as "nary a" or "without a single solitary".
"What happened? did we have a massive event that killed off large numbers of pessimists?"
An extremely large and very perky meteor recently slammed into Siberia, causing the near extinction of said pessimists.
Posted by: RojoLoco at August 01, 2007 05:05 AM (aot1k)
Posted by: Aaron at December 04, 2010 02:12 AM (sSOLg)
Posted by: delgadoo at December 01, 2011 04:06 AM (VrqJF)
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