ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF APRIL 19, 2010

For Immediate Release:

April 23, 2010

Contact:Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

“[T]here is no doubt in my mind that we would still be in recession without the stimulus package.”

– Mark Zandi, Former Economic Advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 4/18/2010
 


Economy Highlights:


• The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes surged 27 percent in March, soaring past economists’ expectations as “government incentives boosted sales…. [N]ew-home sales rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 411,000. It was the strongest month since last July and the biggest monthly increase in 47 years.”  [Associated Press, 4/23/2010]


• A report from LPS Applied Analytics shows another encouraging sign that the housing market is continuing to recover: “[M]ortgage delinquencies fell in March for the second month in a row…. The number of mortgage loans that were at least 30 days past due or in foreclosure declined 8.6% in March…. The biggest slide came in loans 30 days past due. Such loans fell by a record 342,000 to roughly 1.45 million, a level not seen since spring 2008.”  [Wall Street Journal, 4/19/2010]


• This week General Motors announced that it has repaid the loans it received from the government, and Chrysler posted an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010, more signs that the auto industry is recovering. “Fallen giant General Motors Co. accelerated toward recovery Wednesday, announcing the repayment of $8.1 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans five years ahead of schedule.” In addition, “Chrysler … said Wednesday [that] it boosted its cash reserves by $1.5 billion, reducing the likelihood that it will need more government aid.”  [Associated Press, 4/21/2010]
 


Recovery Highlights:


• Marking Earth Day, Vice President Joe Biden announced a new Recovery Act program – the “Retrofit Ramp-Up” – as part of the Recovery Act’s $80 billion investment in clean energy and initiatives promoting energy-efficiency.  “[R]etrofitting existing homes has the potential to cut more than $21 billion a year annually in our energy cost.  There are more than 100 million homes in America…. [T]hese grants … are grants to 25 communities nationwide, and are a major step in the direction of making this much easier to do, much more efficient, and much more likely to happen.”  [White House, 4/21/2010]
 
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