Commentary: Recent data paint a picture of an economy slowing -- sharply
The fledgling economic recovery appears to be running out of gas... The recent run of economic data is most compelling. Just about all of them paint a picture of an economy slowing -- and sharply, at that...
-- both consumer confidence and sentiment have fallen unexpectedly;
-- after-tax personal incomes adjusted for inflation have flattened;
-- sales of both new and existing homes took a surprising stumble;
-- orders for most durable goods are down;
-- manufacturing has slowed;
-- jobless claims are up;
-- fourth-quarter GDP growth came largely from a slower pace of inventory liquidation, not from an increase in consumer spending;
-- and as a matter of fact, consumer spending weakened last quarter.
Understand that the changes in the data above were not insignificant:
-- consumer confidence fell to a 27-year low;
-- new-home sales fell to record lows and they are likely to fall even further, since mortgage applications are down to 13-year lows;
-- existing-home sales are down two months in a row to a seven-month low;
-- first-time claims for unemployment benefits have risen in six of this year's first eight weeks;
-- and new orders excluding transportation fell 0.6%; orders for capital goods fell 2.5%, while capital spending itself was down a thumping 3.5%.
...the magnitude of the declines noted above suggests a message that should not be ignored... Are there any solutions to this mess?
...In my view, the best solution is a cost-free one: remove the uncertainties facing business such as regulations, costs for health care, energy and the environment, not to mention what their own tax rates will be.
You'd be surprised what this will do for hiring and thus for the economy...
Hey, Irwin: news flash -- everyone knows this. Everyone. Including the President and his sycophants in Congress. They don't care. They're committed, hard left ideologues trying to reshape our country and destroy the few remaining firewalls in the Constitution.
They're forcing Democrats to walk the plank on yet another unfunded entitlement.
In fact, the more they crush the life out of the economy with taxes, regulations and uncertainty, the greater the crisis they can precipitate. And that's what they will exploit to confiscate more and more of your private property while exercising increasing control over every aspect of your life.