Americans can breathe a sigh of relief and stop whining. President George Bush now says the economy is on the upswing:
President Bush said Saturday that Americans may have cause this Labor Day weekend to start worrying less about the nation’s — and their families’ — economic health.
“There have been some recent signs that our economy is beginning to improve,” Bush said in his weekly radio address.
Among the positive signs that Bush referenced was a report Thursday that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, rose by 3.3 percent in the April-June quarter. This surprised analysts and was a significant rebound from growth of just 0.9 percent in the first quarter of the year. Most credit was given to the $93 billion in economic stimulus payments the federal government has sent to households since May.
The statement comes close to the start of the Republican convention. Is there any chance speakers at the GOP convention will talk about how the economy is beginning to “improve” under skillful Bush administration management? Meanwhile, Bush apparently left out one teenie fact in his address:
However, other economic news this week showed that right after that second quarter, in July, consumer spending slowed to a crawl and personal incomes plunged.
With few stimulus payments still to go out, some economists worry consumer spending will continue to falter. Since it accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, that could send economic growth tumbling again in the second half of the year, particularly given rising unemployment, a continuing credit crisis and the deepest housing slump in decades.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.