Monday, August 23, 2010

'Nothing but awful' economic news

"Nothing but awful" is the way Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics summed up reports that:

•The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000 — highest since mid-November. Economists had expected first-time claims to come in at 480,000. . . .

•The Philadelphia Fed's broadest index of manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region plunged from +5.1 in July to -7.7 in August, signaling that factory output is shrinking. . . .

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 144 points to close at 10,271.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, puts the odds of a double-dip recession at 15% to 20% — a risk that's "really not acceptable."

This is completely unacceptable. The incumbents - - regardless of party - - deserve to lose.

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