By Bob Stokes
On December 13 the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. The Fed’s statement said “the economy has been expanding moderately.”
On December 15, economic reports included: weekly initial jobless claims hitting a three-and-a-half year low; the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook for December surprised to the upside; and the National Retail Federation raised its holiday sales forecast.
Even so, a not-so-positive thing also happened on the way to the “economic recovery”:
“Americans got much poorer last quarter, as their collective household net worth suffered the biggest decline in three years.”
Other things also happened on the way to economic expansion. For example, tighter budgets have affected the way millions live — literally:
“This year about 30% of adults, 69.2 million people, are living in doubled-up households, compared with 27.7%, or 61.7 million, in 2007…”
As we marched our way toward economic growth, one other thing also came to our attention:
“…the government made gloomy headlines when it released the latest census report showing the poverty rate rose to a 17-year high.”
And there’s this thing on the economic recovery road that we’ve discovered:
“Data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October this year will be revised down next week because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought.”
While we’re at it: In a time of moderate economic growth, isn’t it a bit unusual for Standard & Poor’s to downgrade fifteen major U.S. and European banks?
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