ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF MARCH 8, 2010


“[A]nyone who thinks that high unemployment in the first quarter of 2010 has anything to do with workers getting excessively generous benefits must not get out much. And the truth is that unemployment benefits are a good, quick, administratively easy way to increase demand, which is what we really need. So right now they have the effect of reducing unemployment.”
– Paul Krugman, New York Times, 3/7/2010
 
Economy Highlights:
• The Department of Labor announced that for the second straight week, “the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell … to a level that indicates companies are nearing the end of payroll reductions as the economy recovers. First-time jobless applications dropped by 6,000 to 462,000 in the week ended March 6…” [Bloomberg, 3/11/2010]
 
• Data shows that the manufacturing sector of our economy continues to show strong signs of recovery. “Improbable as it seems, the brightest spot so far in the nation's spotty economic recovery is a sector long considered all but dead -- good-old-fashioned manufacturing. Factories are churning. Exports are up. Even though jobs are the bleakest aspect of the overall economy these days, factory payrolls have turned positive.” [L.A. Times, 3/10/2010]
• According to a February 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac, “U.S. mortgage foreclosure filings dropped for a second straight month in February, and notched the smallest annual increase in four years…. Foreclosure filings – including mortgage default notices, house auctions and home repossessions by banks – were … down 2 percent from January…” [Reuters, 3/11/2010]
 
Recovery Highlights:
• A Wall Street Journal survey indicated that economists broadly agree that the Recovery Act, in addition to actions taken by the Federal Reserve, prevented an even deeper economic crisis than we would have had without it. “On average, economists estimated that the stimulus added one percentage point to growth in 2009; they forecast gross domestic product would expand 3% this year, compared with 2.2% in the absence of stimulus. They estimated that the February unemployment rate, reported at 9.7% last week, would have been 10.4% without the stimulus.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/12/2010]
 
 
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