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Title: Americans' Confidence In The Economy Held Steady In April
Source: Associated Press
URL Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/artic ... /04/24/national/a070358D86.DTL
Published: Apr 24, 2012
Author: Associated Press
Post Date: 2012-04-24 12:36:10 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 679
Comments: 1

(04-24) 07:37 PDT New York (AP) --

Americans' confidence in the economy held steady in April from the previous month despite rising job cuts and falling home values.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said on Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index is at 69.2, down slightly from a revised 69.5 in March. Economists were expecting a reading of 70, according to a FactSet poll of analysts. The current level is below February's 71.6, which is the highest level it's been in a year.

Consumer confidence is widely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. The current level is significantly below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy. But it's well above its all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.

"Consumer confidence was virtually unchanged in April, following a modest decline in March," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement. "Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic."

Economists are paying close attention to consumers' behavior because the U.S. economy is at a critical juncture. New reports that show rising layoffs and slowing home sales are raising concerns that the economic recovery is facing a spring slowdown for the third straight year. The stock market rally also has lost steam in recent weeks amid renewed worries about the European financial crisis and the economy at home.

The Conference Board's report, which is based on a survey conducted from April 1 through April 12 with about 500 randomly selected people nationwide, underscored how Americans' views of the job market remains cautious.

Those stating jobs are "hard to get" declined to 37.5 percent from 40.7 percent, while those stating jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 8.4 percent from 9 percent. Americans who are anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 16.9 percent from 17.4 percent.

The lack of confidence comes as the average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month has risen to a three-month high. According to the April jobs report, employers added 120,000 jobs last month — half the December-February pace and well short of the 210,000 economists were expecting. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in February to 8.2 percent in March — the lowest since January 2009 — but that was mainly because many Americans stopped looking for work.

Meanwhile, the home market remains weak, according to the latest data released Tuesday. Sales of new homes fell in March by the largest amount in more than a year, according to a report released by the Commerce Department. A widely-watched report on home prices showed a drop in February in most major U.S. cities for a sixth straight month, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index.

Still, retail sales have been solid. Gas prices also are beginning to fall, after a four-month surge pushed gas to nearly $4 per gallon earlier this month. The price of gasoline in the U.S. has dropped by nearly 8 cents per gallon since the first week of April following a decline in oil prices and gasoline consumption. Gasoline, on average, now costs about as much as it did a year ago. Subscribe to *Elections 2012*

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#1. To: Brian S (#0) (Edited)

LOL.

Any critical thinking human being would examine the data being reported as fact by our government and regurgitated without question by the corporate mainstream media and conclude it is false, misleading and manipulated. The economy was booming in 2000 and 67.1% of the working age population were in the labor force. Today the economy is in much worse shape. More people NEED to work in order to just make ends meet, but according to the government, 8 million Americans have chosen to not work. Only an Ivy League economist or CNBC bimbo pundit would believe such a blatant distortion of reality. A comparison to prior decades provides all the evidence you need:

In 1980 the working age population was 168 million and the labor force totaled 107 million.
By 1990 the working age population grew by 21 million and the labor force grew by 19 million.
By 2000 the working age population grew by another 23 million and the labor force advanced by 17 million.
Since 2000 the working age population has grown by 30 million, but shockingly the labor force has supposedly grown by only 12 million.

This data is so twisted that there is absolutely no doubt the Federal Government is purposely manipulating the numbers to make the economic situation appear better than the reality. During the Great Depression propaganda and spin had not been perfected. There weren’t multiple definitions of unemployment designed to confuse and mislead the public. The peak level of unemployment in the 1930s was 25%. The current reported level is 8.3%. On a comparable basis to the 1930s, including short-term discouraged workers, those forced to work part- time, and the long-term discouraged workers which were defined out of existence in 1994 by the BLS, the real unemployment rate is 22% today. It feels like a depression for millions of Americans because it is a depression.

...

When you watch the Wall Street scam artists paraded on CNBC declaring the number of people not in the labor force is going up due to Baby Boomers retiring, you should understand they are propagating a falsehood. They are either intellectually dishonest or too lazy to do the most basic of research. They are paid millions to impart false storylines to anyone dumb enough to watch CNBC expecting facts or a smattering of truth. If you want some truth, turn to John Mauldin and John Hussman. CNBC doesn’t invite these outstanding honest analysts on their station when they can roll out a shill like Abbey Joseph Cohen or James Paulson. They wouldn’t want some factual analysis when they can have Becky Quick do one of her frequent handjob interviews with that doddering old status quo fool Warren Buffet.

A critical thinker might wonder how could real disposable income be dropping over the last three months and only have risen by 0.3% in the last year if we’ve had the strong job growth touted by Obama. Could it be the jobs being created are extraordinarily low-paying?

Intellectually dishonest ultra-liberal Ivy League defender of the Federal Reserve - Paul Krugman had this to say about Ben Bernanke’s zero interest rate policy on senior citizens: “Finally, how is expansionary monetary policy supposed to hurt the 99 percent? Think of all the people living on fixed incomes, we’re told. But who are these people? I know the picture: retirees living on the interest on their bank account and their fixed pension check - and there are no doubt some people fitting that description. But there aren’t many of them .” It must be comforting living in an ivory tower or penthouse suite and looking down upon the ignorant masses while caressing your Nobel Prize. The millions of senior citizens with $100,000 of savings could earn $5,000 of interest income in 2007 to supplement their $18,000 of Social Security income.

Today, they can earn $150 while the Wall Street banks receive the benefits of ZIRP by borrowing for free from the Federal Reserve and earning billions risk free. Paulie doesn’t think the $4,850 reduction in income and the 15% increase in inflation since 2007 had a negative impact on senior citizens. They must be pouring into the work force because they are just bored, after working for the last 45 years. John Hussman has a slightly different viewpoint, based upon facts rather than a false disproven ideology:

“Beginning first with Alan Greenspan, and then with Ben Bernanke, the Fed has increasingly pursued policies of suppressing interest rates, even driving real interest rates to negative levels after inflation. Combine this with the bursting of two Fed-enabled (if not Fed-induced) bubbles - one in stocks and one in housing, and the over-55 cohort has suffered an assault on its financial security: a difficult trifecta that includes the loss of interest income, the loss of portfolio value, and the loss of home equity. All of these have combined to provoke a delay in retirement plans and a need for these individuals to re-enter the labor force. In short, what we've observed in the employment figures is not recovery, but desperation. Having starved savers of interest income, and having repeatedly subjected investors to Fed-induced financial bubbles that create volatility without durable returns, the Fed has successfully provoked job growth of the obligatory, low-wage variety. Over the past year, the majority of this growth has been in the 55-and-over cohort, while growth has turned down among other workers. Meanwhile, broad labor force participation continues to fall as discouraged workers leave the labor force entirely, which is the primary reason the unemployment rate has declined. All of this reflects not health, but despair, and helps to explain why real disposable income has grown by only 0.3% over the past year.”

Do you believe Krugman or Hussman? The key takeaway from the data is the desperation exhibited by average Americans, while the political governing elite and Wall Street pigs continue to gorge themselves at the trough of free money provided by the Federal Reserve, while paying themselves obscene bonuses for a job well done buying the corrupt Washington politicians.

Over the next six months we will hear unceasing rhetoric from Obama and Romney about how they are going to create jobs. Neither of these government apparatchiks have a clue about jobs or desire to change the course that was set one hundred years ago with the creation of the Federal Reserve.

Obama never worked at a real job in his entire life, while Romney has spent his life firing people and spinning off heavily indebted companies to unsuspecting investors. The current deteriorating jobs picture has been decades in the making and a truly bipartisan effort. The rhetoric about America being an engine of growth and the world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship is laughable when examined with a critical eye. We are an aging empire living in the past as the facts portray an entirely different reality. Our fastest growing industries include:

Solar panel manufacturing (subsidized by your tax dollars)
For-profit universities (diploma mills subsidized by your tax dollars)
Pilates and yoga studios
Self-tanning product manufacturing
Social network game development
Hot sauce production

The “surge” in jobs in the last three months is being driven by these industries:
Food services and drinking places
Administrative and support services
Ambulatory health care services
Credit intermediation
Hospitals

Thanks for playing, Baghdad Bri-bri.


The economy is wonderful!
Re-elect Obama, he'll pay your rent!
A chicken in every pot!

-- Baghdad Bri-bri --

To: mcToejam, rat-boy, drippy, Alzheimer Fred, whitesands, t-bird, loonymom, ming, e-type jackoff, goober56, wreck, cal-CON, rabid dog, dummy DwarF, biff, harrowup the communist, and meguro. You're on the "a waste of human flesh" list. Brian S[ocialist], you're a propagandist moron. ALL of you can piss off.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-04-24   14:46:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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