Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

The people have spoken, but are the parties listening?

Commentary: 'It's quiet out there ... too quiet'
Published on Sep 17, 2010

In this last week of summer, the financial-political world is still in the suspended animation in which it began summer. Recovery aborted by June, the U.S. economy is flying just above stall speed. Options for China trade, and European sovereign debt and currency, are narrowing but not yet closed. We'll have an election in six weeks but are short of leaders. August retail sales rose a thin 0.4 percent, and industrial production 0.3 percent, but July was revised down by 0.4 percent. Capacity in use was supposed to crawl up to 75 percent from 74.8 percent (80 percent is the border of health) but fell to 74.6 percent. The spike in unemployment-insurance claims has fallen from near 500,000 weekly, but settled at 450,000, where it's been since last year. Today's University of Michigan confidence index was expected to rise from 68.9 to 70, and instead dumped to 66.6, the lowest in 13 months. Kids in the '50s, raised "out West," practiced the eye-squint necessary for ...

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