Someone please convince me that this is the same spin that would be put on the economic numbers were a Democrat sitting behind the main desk in the Oval Office:
[i]For every encouraging sign, there is an explanation. Consumer confidence is bouncing back from what were arguably some of its worst readings in years. Gasoline prices - the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration - have fallen because higher prices held down demand and Gulf Coast supplies have been slowly restored.
The latest reading on home sales, released yesterday, contradicts most recent measures of housing activity, which generally indicate a slowdown. And, yes, manufacturers' fortunes are on the mend, but few besides airplane makers are celebrating.
It all means the economy is likely to end the year with a splash. But before you splurge on a new car, consider this: Many economists do not expect the party to continue, especially if the Federal Reserve continues taking the punchbowl away and raises interest rates. That could further slow the housing market, damp consumer spending and crimp corporate profits.[/i]
To quote Mickey Kaus ( http://www.slate.com/id/2131180/ ),
"It's indeed deeply disturbing to learn that higher gas prices have held down demand, causing those prices to fall back to a level at which demand begins to rise again! It's almost as if some insidious law was at work--as prices rise, demand declines! As supply increases, prices fall! You can't win! [BB NOTE: Just for clarification, this is sarcasm.] ... P.S.: The price drop might be alarming if the decline in demand for gas reflected a general economic downturn. But that doesn't seem to be the case. What the NYT's Vikak Bajaj ominously describes is the market working exactly as it's supposed to, coupled with successful rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast. It appears to be "quite that simple."
Basically, the U.S. economy has been holding up the world recently, providing a market for a whole bunch of growing Asian countries, creating jobs, etc. Unemployment is at 5%, which is a great number historically. I think there's probably a housing bubble, but I don't think that presages doom for the economy. Consumer and business spending is strong.
Yet somehow most of the media don't seem too impressed with the economy. I cannot seem to fathom why this is. Maybe they just don't wish to revisit their predictions of the past few years concerning the tax cuts?