Category Archives: Recovery

UPS, Ford signal improving economy, or as Fox says, the sky is falling

Watching Fox news at the gym every morning is good motivation for burning calories, but I always need a reality check when I get to work.

Here’s a dose of reality that I didn’t see on Fox this morning:

Ford posts best 1Q profit in 13 years

UPS raises 2011 forecast as 1Q profit soars

Consumer Confidence Index rises in April

Together, these reports indicate that consumers are willing to spend, they’re feeling somewhat better about job creation and businesses are reaping the benefit.

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Knoxville fares well in Brookings report

The nation’s economic recovery is “running out of steam,” but Knoxville is doing better than most other metropolitan markets when it comes to job creation and production, according to study released this week by The Brookings Institution.

Knoxville was one of only 19 metro areas that saw faster output growth in the second quarter than in the first quarter, Brookings reports in the quarterly MetroMonitor, which analyzes the health of the nation’s 100 largest metro economies.

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More stimulus needed now

Here’s a little summer reading for all my ultra conservative friends unwilling to support another round of stimulus spending even if it means the recovery oozes to a halt, more people lose jobs and the universe implodes.

The recovery is fragile and now is not the time to cut off the money. Consumers and businesses — especially small businesses — need help now.

Paul Krugman: Lincoln, McClellan, And Stimulus

Michael Kinsley: Is the Deficit No Big Deal?

Derek Thompson: ‘Nothing Would Spook the Markets More Than For Paul Krugman’s Advice to Be Accepted’

The Curious Capitalist: Do We Need A Second Stimulus?

Recovery continues: Consumer spending, corporate profits up

Word from the Commerce Department today is that the economy didn’t grow quite as fast in the first quarter as originally estimated. But that’s no reason to panic. The key word here is “grow.” The economy continues to recover, albeit slowly.

Several bits of good news can be found in the news release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

— Automobile manufacturing and computer sales both were up from the fourth quarter.

— Consumer spending rose 3.5 percent, slightly less than originally estimated, but up from 1.6 percent in the 4Q and the strongest showing in three years.

— Corporate America is still making money. Corporate profits increased $81.4 billion, compared to a 4Q increase of $108.7 billion. Still a tidy increase, any way you cut it.

Read the full BEA press release here.

Will workers want more vacation? — You betcha

With the economy in recovery will workers be more inclined to take all of their vacation time this year?

That’s the question being asked on challengeratwork, a blog by the global consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Challengeratwork reports that an Expedia.com 2009 survey found that 34 percent of workers on average did not use 3 vacation days and only 10 percent took extended vacations of two weeks.

“Some of the decline in vacations last year was undoubtedly due to worker concerns about using vacation with job security still in such a precarious state,” Challangeratwork says. “Will the expected economic recovery lead more workers to use their vacation time in 2010?”

You bet they will.

Gospel according to FedEx Office

It’s all going to be O.K. I know this because FedEx Office tells me so.

According to the company’s third annual “Signs of the Times” national survey, small biz owners are ready to take the economy to the promised land.

Or “eager to lead the charge out of the country’s protracted recession,” in the language of PR.

 

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Warren Buffett or CW– who do you believe?

Today’s conventional wisdown is that the recovery is on shaky ground because consumer incomes posted only a slim increase in March. If consumers stop spending the nascent recovery could be in trouble, is the line of thought.

Maybe.

But the big kuhuna of the financial world — billionaire Warren Buffett — says the economy is showing real strength.

I’m going with Warren.

 

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Four signs the recovery is on track

The economy still has a ways to go but these stories suggest good things are happening with the recovery.

Specifically — cosumers are shopping again, investors are regaining their confidence, advertising is bouncing back and, perhaps, most significant, there is light at the end of the tunnel for General Motors.

GM pays back government loans from US, Canada

Best Non-Holiday Quarter for Apple

Yahoo earnings nearly triple

Morgan Stanley’s profit of $1.41B tops forecasts

 

Jobless recovery continues

Here’s why job growth has yet to catch up and why it will be awhile before it does.

The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy in the 4th quarter last year grew 5.6 percent, less than previously estimated.

While any growth is good news after the worst recession in decades, projections of 3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2010 are disturbing. That’s not near fast enough to put much of a dent in the unemployment rate.

 Knoxville’s often lags the national trends so it looks like we’re in for a sluggish year.