Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Employment Outlook Still Shaky

Employment numbers, while their decline has moderated, still haven't recovered. This will likely take some time and will weigh heavily on the economy no matter how much other indicators improve. Not many people seem to be covering this today, but the White House did release some interesting data yesterday (bloomberg):

U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion next year, both higher than previous Obama administration forecasts
because of a recession that was deeper and longer than expected, White House budget chief Peter Orszag said.

The Office of Management and Budget forecasts a weaker economic recovery than it saw in May as the gross domestic product shrinks 2.8 percent this year before expanding 2 percent next year, according to the administration’s mid-year economic review issued today.

The Congressional Budget Office, in a separate assessment, forecast the economy will grow 2.8 percent next year. Both see the GDP expanding 3.8 percent in 2011.

“While the danger of the economy immediately falling into a deep recession has receded, the American economy is still in the midst of a serious economic downturn,” the White House report said. “The long-term deficit outlook remains daunting.”


Also, a little tidbit from the Fed's Fisher today (reuters):

Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said on Wednesday the U.S. economy is poised for a slow, sluggish recovery as it emerges from a painful recession.

"We're beginning to see indicators that we're coming out of this," he said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News."I think it will be a while before businesses rehire or increase pay," he said. Consumers are also likely to be cautious before starting to spend again, said Fisher, who is not a voter on the Fed's interest rate setting panel.

"They're all going to be very, very conservative on that front until they feel comfortable that we have a global economy that is proceeding," he said. "I think that will take some time." Fisher said he believes the worst declines may be over for residential investment, inventories, exports, and possibly consumption.

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