Economy watchers have multiple reasons to be happy today — oil prices fell, the hiring outlook is the best in years and consumer spending is improving.
But the best news of all is that venture capitalists are back in the game. Total VC investments were up 11 percent and the number of deals rose 6 percent in 2010, according to the Dow Jones VentureSource report.
The increase in venture capital investments, while still below pre-recession levels, is a sure sign that people with money are gaining confidence in the economy.
Here are the headlines:
Oil prices fall as Saudis hint at raising supplies
Poll: Hiring plans top layoffs by most in 12 years
Across income scale, Americans cautiously prepare to spend
April, as it turns out, was a darn good month for the economy. Consumer spending rose for the seventh straight month, industrial production was up and businesses added 290,000 jobs, the largest monthly increase in four years.
Was April a harbinger of good times?
I say, yes, the economy is headed in the right direction. Full recovery is a long way off, but I feel significantly better about the economy today than I did a year ago.
The stimulus plan is working.
Other reasonably intelligent folk disagree.
The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter and consumer spending increased by 3.6 percent, the government reported today.
Normally, these kind of numbers would be cause for celebration, but investors weren’t impressed, pushing the Dow down more than 100 points in late afternoon trading.
Some analysts were expecting slightly higher growth in the GDP and some experts noted that 1Q growth was down from 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter.