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National Economic Outlook (August 2011)

National Economic Outlook (August 2011)

Jobs, jobs, jobs! That’s what we’ll hear from now on through the 2012 election, and rightly so. Although they claim otherwise, Wall Street and the Big Banks are not the essential, indispensable, must-be-bailed-out part of the national economy: it’s people with jobs.  Those people account for 70 percent of the economy (the government is 20 percent).

As we’ve already seen, those people aren’t spending very much money these days, needing no more time-share condos, full-size SUVs, leather furniture, and flat-screen TVs. Which means there are fewer jobs for the people who were making those things a few years ago.

The national economy grew at a modest annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, better than the 0.4 percent of the first quarter, but there is some cause for anxiety: personal spending was flat in the second quarter, after growing between 2 and 3 percent in 2010.

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