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July 06, 2004

*tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk

*tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk:

WASHINGTON - The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates.

In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

My analysis: *tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk

...

But if this year's growth ends up a bit faster than [expected], it will be the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president β€” Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) β€” was running for re-election.

"We are moving into a sweet spot for the economy with interest rates not too high, jobs coming back and business investment providing strength," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One in Chicago, who is predicting GDP (news - web sites) growth of 4.8 percent this year.

The senior economic forecaster at Morgan Stanley was quoted as saying, "*tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk."

...

Even with the 10 months of consecutive job gains, Bush is still facing a 1.2 million jobs deficit, from the last peak for employment in March 2001.

However, many analysts anticipate the economy will generate around 200,000 jobs per month over the next six months, a pace that would be enough to erase his deficit figure by the end of the year. That would enable him to escape being the only president since Herbert Hoover in the Great Depression to have lost jobs while in office.

Although the economy created only 112,000 jobs in June, after averaging 304,000 jobs for the previous three months, analysts expect strong job growth the rest of this year.

They predict the unemployment rate β€” stuck at 5.6 percent for most of this year β€” will improve gradually, to 5.3 percent by December, as a strengthening job market draws people back into the labor force.

Summing up:

*tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk

In related news: As predicted, after spending the first half of the year almost entirely avoiding the issue of the American economy, Paul Krugman roars at the subject yet again, feeling safer about doing so thanks to June's not-as-good-as-expected job creation.

Let's see: Two columns per week, about three weeks left in July; I figure he'll be able to write 3-5 columns about how dreadful the economy was, is, and always shall be under Bush, before being promptly forced to abandon the issue again around August 3rd or 4th.

Have fun, Paul.

*tuk *tuk *tuk *tuk Update: Consumer confidence (as polled by ABC/CNNMoney) reaches five month high:

The index now stands at its best level since early February and near its average of -9 since the survey started in December 1985.

Okay, just getting almost up to the average 20-year reading isn't terrific, but it's better than being far off the average.


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posted by Ace at 04:13 PM

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