Divergent Views on the Current Status of the Economy

Peter Goodman, the economic writer of the NYTimes, has an enlightening summary of the divergent views on the economy in today’s paper.The most promising sign, according to Allen Sinai, the global economist, is that manufacturing is picking up and has been for the past five months.  Tied to the manufacturing upswing is the expansion of the stock market.  Still, some economists remain worried that the momentum could weaken.Skeptics of lasting recovery say that once inventories have been rebuilt, the economy will confront the same assortment of ills we’ve experienced over the past two years.  Goodman indicates that few economists expect a double-dip recession in which the economy expands only to contract, but many fear a long, protracted period of stagnant growth much like Japan’s Lost Decade of the 1990s.  Some consensus is developing that consumers and businesses will have to get used to a long period of slower growth than the country has experienced for decades.As I indicated over the past two weeks (here and here), the unemployments claims continue to go downhill, however, the January figures may give further insight, what with the end of seasonal adjustments.To read Goodman’s entire NYTimes article, follow the link to “divergent views.”
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