OpinionIndustry News

Economy may soon pick up pace

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Business spending continues to grow, as shown by the chart below. The monthly survey of Purchasing Managers at major corporations shows that, despite a slight slowdown in the last few months, purchasing activity remains well above the benchmark index of 50. Our grading system of the economy and the housing market is a "bell curve" model, with statistics at an all-time high receiving an "A," statistics near the long-term average receiving a "C," and the worst times ever receiving an "F." In this grading system, it is OK to be a "C" student. Here is our current report card: Economic Growth: C Economic growth continues to be "average." We added 150,000 jobs in August, bringing the 1-year growth to 1.7 million, or 1.3 percent. This is the strongest job growth rate in three and a half years. Despite persistently high oil prices that threaten to dent growth, the manufacturing sector has been reporting stronger numbers and may support the Fed's view that the economy is growing strongly enoug...