ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF MAY 24, 2010

For Immediate Release:

May 28, 2010

Contact:

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130



“[O]ne thing is clear: the financial crisis occurred on Bush’s watch. To demand that everyone let Bush off the hook for where we are now because 16 months have passed under his successor is to defy the overwhelming evidence of history.”
– Paul Krugman, 5/23/2010

Economy Highlights:

•  In positive news for the economy, new-home sales climbed 14.8% in April, the second month in a row that demand exceeded expectations: “Sales of existing homes increased in April for the second month in a row, as buyers took advantage of the government's home-buyer tax credit. Sales rose 7.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Year-over-year, existing-home sales were up 22.8% in April.”  [Wall Street Journal, 5/24/2010]

•  Consumer confidence continued to rise in May: “Americans are feeling better about their job prospects, pushing consumer confidence higher in May…. The Conference Board, based in New York, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 63.3, up from April's revised 57.7. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected 59. The increase was boosted by consumers' outlook over the next six months, one component of the index, which soared to the highest level seen since August 2007, before the economy entered in a recession…. The overall index — which measures how consumers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months — has been recovering fitfully since hitting an all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.”  [Associated Press, 5/25/2010]

•  The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released its monthly state-by-state report showing that in April, 37 states and D.C. experienced private sector job growth: “The updated reports show that in many states, the economy is starting to grow.  In April, 37 states and the District of Columbia saw private sector job creation.  Eight states have experienced private sector job creation for each of the first four months of 2010, and an additional three states saw private sector growth in the last three months.”   [JEC Report, 5/21/2010]
 
 
Recovery Highlight:

•  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the Recovery Act, showing that it was responsible for creating up to 2.8 million jobs in the first quarter of 2010: “The $800 billion U.S. stimulus package has had a slightly bigger effect on the U.S. economy than was projected when it was passed more than a year ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday. Through the first quarter of 2010, the stimulus boosted employment by an estimated 1.3 million to 2.8 million jobs, about a quarter or half million more than projected. Gross domestic product was 1.7 to 4.1 percentage points higher than it would have been without the stimulus, the nonpartisan budget office said.”   [Wall Street Journal, 5/25/2010; CBO, 5/25/2010]
 
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