12/29/2010

New Fox News piece: Americans very gloomy about the economy

My new piece starts off this way:

All the economic numbers being thrown around as the year draws to a close are bewildering. Some are positive, some are negative, but for many this week it is hard to get an overall feel for how well the economy is doing.
On the upside, GDP is rising, though slowly, and economists have raised their forecasts for next year's economic growth. Retail sales this holiday season increased by 5.5 percent over last year. Inflation has remained low, just 1.1 percent over the last year. And the stock market has rebounded.
Yet, there are major negatives. Most seriously, the very high and long-lingering unemployment rate. Unemployment is not only rising, but it has set a post-World War II record with unemployment remaining at least at 9.5 percent or higher for 18 months.
Adding to job-seekers' problems, the new employment consists almost exclusively of temporary service sector jobs, a poor replacement for the lost permanent ones. Home prices also fell again last month. Yale Professor Robert Shiller who collects these data, warned on Tuesday: The outlook has become steadily more pessimistic over the last few months." Huge deficits at the federal and state level add to long-run concerns.
So what do all these numbers mean for the average American? New Consumer Confidence numbers were released on Tuesday and they aren't encouraging, . . .

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