Austerity Still Taking a Bite Out of Europe

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 8:30 am

While debating how much austerity outside of the magic no-budgetary-impact spending on the Pentagonto enact, the United States could take a lesson from, well, from the rest of the developed world. The relative lack of austerity in the US compared to Britain and the rest of Europe led to better economic performance (and it’s important [...]

White House Report on Threats to Consumer Spending from Middle Class Tax Hikes Leaves Out Payroll Tax Cut

By: Monday November 26, 2012 7:45 am

The White House is getting more vocal on pressuring Republicans to extend tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income. They supplement this today with a new report from the NEC and the CEA, showing the impact of tax rises on the middle class on consumer spending, which comprises about 70% of the economy. It [...]

Bernanke: Economy Still Weak, No Time for Austerity

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economy today offered no new information. It was more of an overview on the state of the economy, and it hit on many very familiar themes which Bernanke has expressed for a long time now, including the need to loosen lending standards in a type of reinflation of the housing [...]

Retail Wage Increases Would Benefit Entire Economy and Additional Retail Sales, With Negligible Price Increase

By: Monday November 19, 2012 10:00 am

Walmart executives worried about the recent spate of labor activity against the retailer would probably tell you that they cannot possibly offer higher wages to their employees while maintaining their brand identifier of low prices. They offer what the market will bear in terms of wages, they would say, and anything more would represent a [...]

The Low-Wage, Part-Time New Normal Economy

By: Monday October 29, 2012 11:39 am

Consumer confidence numbers have picked up steadily over the past three months, and Americans now feel better about the economy as a whole and their personal economic conditions. Further evidence for this can be seen in the rise in consumer spending in September, at twice the rate of the rise in personal income. Whether it’s [...]

GDP Increased to 2.0% in the Third Quarter of 2012

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:01 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis rates 3rd quarter GDP with a preliminary estimate of 2.0%, an increase from the previous quarter but not the kind of economic growth normally associated with reducing the unemployment rate in rapid fashion. GDP in the second quarter increased 1.3%, so this represents an acceleration on growth, albeit a modest [...]

Key Economic Indicators Fail to Meet Expectations

By: Friday September 28, 2012 7:47 am

A series of economic data released today has pretty bad news for those hoping for a sustained recovery that will increase job and GDP growth. First of all, personal income nearly flatlined, rising just 0.1% in August, a number that, if annualized, would be below inflation. So real income is decreasing. Personal income came in [...]

Consumer Confidence Survey Could Be Skewed by Upcoming Election

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 1:33 pm

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index shot up today, rising from 61.3 in August to 70.3 in September. This typically correlates with a brighter outlook for the economy, and could lead to stronger consumer spending. However, it may be worthwhile to ignore the Conference Board’s index in the last couple months of an election cycle. [...]

Pelosi Confirms that Payroll Tax Cut Will Expire at End of the Year

By: Monday September 24, 2012 8:57 am

On her way out the door at the end of Congress’ last session before the elections, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sealed the fate of the payroll tax cut, if it wasn’t sealed already, ensuring that fiscal policy will snap back in 2013 by at least $125 billion. “I would hope that we would not [...]

Middle Class Suffering Through “Lost Decade,” Study Shows

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 10:57 am

The great middle class, the group lauded in campaign ads by every politician in the country, is wasting away according to a Pew study. Using the broadest possible figures (between 67% and 200% of the national median income), the study shows that the middle class has declined to a bare majority of the population. Furthermore, [...]

Second-Quarter GDP Drops to 1.5%

By: Friday July 27, 2012 6:55 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis put out its first estimate on GDP for the second quarter of 2012, finding that it increased at an annualized rate of 1.5%, down from a revised 2.0% in the first quarter. This is below trend, though in line with expectations, and it suggests that the economy is stuck in [...]

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