Published for www.commentarymagazine.com, April 25, 2012
Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that seasonally-adjusted annual rate of sales fell 7.1 percent from February. The March figures for home sales were the lowest in four months. Today, we learned that new orders for manufactured durable goods in March decreased $8.8 billion — or 4.2 percent — to $202.6 billion. And this comes after a jobs report that showed in March we produced only 120,000 new jobs, as more and more people continued to drop out of the labor force.
As this McClatchy Newspaper story puts it:
Rather than a breakout surge in economic growth, mainstream forecasters say, Americans should expect the U.S. economy to slog forward for another couple of years.
The economy grew at a subpar annual rate of 1.7 percent last year, down from 3 percent the year before. The consensus forecast for this year now is for growth of 2 to 2.5 percent.
The U.S. economy is expected to slow later this year… A spate of recent indicators punctuated fears that the economy is stalling. March delivered only 120,000 new jobs, and the latest manufacturing and real estate data softened.
We’re already experiencing the weakest economic recovery since after World War II — and the latest data points to a further slowdown.
No wonder the president’s campaign would rather talk about contraception, Warren Buffett’s secretary, and the Irish setter Mitt Romney owned 30 years ago.