National Economic Outlook (June 2012)
The Wall Street Journal this week said, Grim Job Report Sinks Markets. The bold headline suggests an economy in retreat. After all, it’s an election year. But the May job numbers look like more of the same moderate growth we’ve been getting in recent months.
Overall, jobs were up 1.4 percent in the past year, right in line with the growth rates of previous months. Manufacturing jobs were up 2 percent, including an 8 percent increase in cars. Retail jobs were up just 1 percent but, significantly, jobs at furniture stores were up 2.4 percent. Jobs at restaurants and bars were up 3 percent. Conclusion: consumers are buying big-ticket items and are treating themselves to small luxuries, important signs of optimism.