ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF FEBRUARY 22, 2010

For Immediate Release:

February 26, 2010

Contact:

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130


“[Taking Recovery Act funds] was the right thing to do. Our economy was going off into the abyss and if we didn't have those monies, we would have had 87,000 people out of work today in the Sunshine State. Twenty thousand of those are educators, and how many people does that translate into in terms of the children they teach?... It was the right thing to do. We needed the money. That's why what every Republican governor in the country took it.
It was a common sense approach to take it.”
  - Governor Charlie Crist (R-FL), 2/22/2010
 
Economy Highlights:
• Today, the Department of Commerce announced that the fourth quarter 2009 gross domestic product (GDP) was revised upward to 5.9% from its previous reading of 5.7%, “the strongest pace in over six years.” “Fourth-quarter GDP was helped by spending effects of the government's $787 billion stimulus and also by companies restocking their inventories, which they allowed to diminish during the recession.”   [Wall Street Journal, 2/26/10; Washington Post, 2/26/10]
 
• Another sign that the housing market is continuing to recover, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index reported this week that “home prices continued to climb for the seventh consecutive month in December… prices of single-family homes rose in most parts of the country when adjusted for seasonal factors, climbing 0.3 percent in December from November. That's the biggest monthly rise since August.” [Washington Post, 2/24/10]
• According to retail-sector reports released this week, three major national retail chains reported solid quarterly earnings for the time period including the holiday shopping season. “Retailers have resuscitated their bottom lines after the dark days of the recession, thanks to heavy cost-cutting, inventory reductions and stabilizing consumer spending.” [Washington Post, 2/24/10]
 
Recovery Highlights:
• The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is having the intended effect of creating jobs and growing the economy. A report released this week estimates that “there were between 1 million and 2.1 million more jobs during the last three months of 2009 than there would have been without the stimulus law.”  [Congressional Budget Office, 2/23/10; USA Today, 2/23/10]