[ARCHIVE] Make Your Move

Setting the Economic Record Straight

The Federal Reserve met on June 06, and they likely talked about more stimulus spending. The Washington Post (among others) reported that the "escalating crisis in Europe and the sudden slowdown in U.S. economic growth -- marked by last week's report of paltry job growth... means the Fed is likely to reconsider stimulus spending to keep the U.S. on a growth track."

"Escalating crisis in Europe"? The second-quarter GDP estimate for Europe shows a potential for stability, not a deepening crisis. The European Central Bank (ECB) is keeping interest rates low and signaling a willingness to keep the cash flowing to ailing banks through several mechanisms under consideration, including putting more financial responsibility on bank investors and creditors. Even Spain is beginning to catch a break from global investors.

"Sudden slowdown in the U.S. economy"? The U.S. Industrial Production quarterly year-over-year trend is positive, and the annual year-over-year trend (12/12 rate-of-change) may have established a business cycle low in April. Consumer spending and wholesale trade activity are at record high levels, and the housing industry is showing signs of life.

"Paltry job growth in May"? Private sector job growth, not seasonally adjusted, showed an increase of 732,000 jobs. The April-to-May increase was typical for May and better than each of the previous four years. I would not call that "paltry."

I do not yet know what the Federal Reserve Board did on the 6th, but I hope they exercise restraint and do not give in to the pressure to print more money and/or plunge the U.S. into more debt. The President is also receiving pressure to borrow 10-year money at incredibly low rates. The temptation is certainly understandable, but the best course of action is to let the economy continue to grow with all the resultant benefits and none of the long-term hangover effects.

TAGS: The Economy
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