Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bad news for the GOP, more signs of economic recovery

By Richard K. Barry

L.S. Lowry: "Going to Work"

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the U.S. auto sector is looking strong:
U.S. auto sales are on pace for the best showing since 2007 and a third straight year of at least 10 percent gains, only the fourth such streak since the Great Depression, as more-confident buyers return to showrooms.

They add that "automakers are adding overnight shifts and cutting workers' vacations to meet demand."

Pent-up demand, an improving economy and loosening credit has spurred the better-than-estimated auto sales and helped General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler Group LLC to first quarter profits that beat analysts’ forecasts even while deliveries fell in Europe.

On a related note, CNBC reports that consumer sentiment is at a four year high in early May as "Americans remained upbeat about the job market."
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary May reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment improved to 77.8 from 76.4 in April, topping forecasts for 76.2. It was the highest level since January 2008.
Despite the recent slowdown in job growth, nearly twice as many consumers reported hearing about new job gains than said they had heard about recent job losses, the survey said.

In fairness, the survey director, Richard Curtis, suggests that either we will see more positive numbers on the labour market or people are getting too excited too soon. Hedging his bets, Curtis adds that the truth will probably be somewhere in the middle.

I don't want to oversell signs of a recovery, we have a long way to go, but good news is good news and deserves to be mentioned. I realize this will not make the Republicans happy, although some of these geniuses have actually suggested that any improvement should be chalked up to the expectation among voters that the Obama Administration is coming to an end. Nice try, guys.

I recognize that many people think the fall election will a referendum on the state of the economy, at least the GOP hopes so. I suppose if things really go in a bad direction, that will be bad for the Dems. But, if trends continue, it's getting very hard to see how Romney gets any traction at all.

Keep that good economic news rolling in.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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