Recent Economic Growth: No Double Dip Recession?

In a rare bit of good economic news, recent statistics for manufacturing and construction show growth — meaning that those sectors might help demand grow enough to stave off another recession, the second in four years. According to the Institute of Supply Management, “Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month” and at a much higher rate than in August. Likewise, the Census Bureau finds that construction spending was up 1.4% in August – more than it had been in July and relative to last year.

Together, these numbers paint a surprisingly optimistic picture of the current economic state of the US. Two of the biggest sectors of demand are starting to rev up after a shaky and politically unstable summer. Since some of the data lags on construction, this could also bode well for the September numbers as well, assuming it moves in conjunction with manufacturing. This is all partially driven by the fact that gas prices have gone down, reducing stagflationary pressures and improving the market for cars, perhaps sustaining modest growth for months to come.

On the other hand, this could be washed out by more concrete bad economic news. With the jobs bill likely to get stalled in Congress due to political considerations and Greek default looking more likely by the week, any progress that the country makes is, indeed, precarious. If anything, these numbers underscore the importance of passing something like the jobs bill. There’s clearly pent up demand, evidenced by the continued growth in the aforementioned sectors. The un- and under-employed just need a steadier income to catch up on expenditures — and nothing would do that better than a job bill targeted at just doing that.

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Photo from stevendepolo via flickr.


Mary B.
Mary B6 years ago

I'm with you Paul D ! We don't need jobs, we need money in circulation where it will get spent immediately. And from this point on, the people of this country need an on-going money supply of their own, independant of jobs. The way it has always been doesn't have to be our future.Money is just a means of exchange and it can be printed at any time.All the fears about inflation and stagflation are based on economic premises that were either flawed to begin with, or executed with key pieces missing. Like the money supply of the people so they can create demand and be picky about who'll they'll work for when they want extra money.And it's long past time that people acknowledge this so we can get on with the mechanics of getting this new money out to the low income people via the social safety net and unemplyment. Then let SS set up an ongoing stipend fund. And no more of this moralizing on 'who' deserves help and who doesn't. Better that all have enough than leave despret people to fend for themselve with no way to help themselves. People are just afraid that no one would work if they weren't forced to.

Shirley Marsh
Shirley Marsh6 years ago

There are some amazing books published by Chelsea Green Publishing that hold out so much hope for our species by thinking outside the box in areas such as global economics; green energy and so on. I really recommend this website to everyone who is working for change for the better in our world.

Paul Diamond
Paul Diamond6 years ago

All this economic discussion, ecobabble, is so much equine excrement!

There is only one way to grow an economy.
THAT IS FOR PEOPLE, you and me, TO BUY GOODS AND SERVICES!!! However we cannot buy goods and services if we have no money. We will not buy goods and services if we have to save against the inevitable loss of our jobs, those of us who actually have one that is.

If they had taken all the hundreds of billions of dollars that were spent to shore up banks, corporations and Wall Street and divided it evenly among all American families that earned less than $100K it would have done more to stimulate the economy than all the investment houses on Wall Street. It would have done more to stimulate the economy than all the major corporations that were "too big to fail."It would have done more to stimulate the economy than all the banks in the world collectively.

Superstition is harmful to children and other living things!

Ira L.
Ellie L6 years ago

Get rid of the tbagger/republicans and watch the economy get better. They are preventing anything good from happening to make Obama look bad. Well, guess what.......Obama will find a way to get past these fascist republicans and he will find a way to create jobs WITHOUT the GOP congress. If anyone can get our country going forward on the right track it's President Obama!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

It would be nice to think thing are improving, but I feel the worst is yet to come.

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

Lets hope Wall Street gets hit hard enough for anyone else thinking about messing with our way of life through deciept and dishonesty will think twice, even thrice before sticking their neck out..and hopefully get it chopped off!

Jim Gayden
Jim Gayden6 years ago

Michael M. Seems like he really knows what he is saying. I would like to add a couple of things. First off, a global economy is inevitable, and unavoidable. So we are just going to have to learn how to adapt. I believe that Obama is on the right track. But the republicans want to block anything, and everything that will be beneficial. They have outright stated that to be their goal until they have all the power. If that happens, then we are in big trouble. They want all of the power. They only care about how much we can do for them. Another thing I would like to say is that greed grows in leaps, and bounds in this country. Not long ago the average American income was about $80,000.00/year, and lots of workers/unions were on strike. This high income devaluates the dollar/buying power, and that is one of the main reasons for outsourcing, other than tax shelters. These corporations that are seeking tax shelters, and outsourcing should be charges higher tarifs or import taxes to compensate. And with technological advancements, many of the future jobs in America will require higher education, and highly skilled laborers. Therefore all Americans need better education, and better access to education. So, we need to have a better education system. I advocate free higher education. I also advocated online business. Online are the jobs of the future.

Mike Chrissie
Mike Chrissie6 years ago

until the government gets out of the way the economy will not come back. obama has had 2 1/2 years and nothing on jobs or the economy.
Romney has run major companies, managed olympics, run a state...........Cain has done great things, has managed, Parry has great experience, all 3 of them would do a much better job the the failure obama.
Forget party, look at resumes

Christopher Fowler

if I were in the construction industry I might agree that things are improving. But since I am not in that industry and the only jobs opening up are for BILINGUAL (I am a US citizen and speak only English and American) customer service and SALES (been there, done that and made no money at it) positions, I am finding jobs to be extremely scarce.

For people not bilingual, in sales or in construction, the jobs are not there.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Have to add ditto to Marilyn L.'s comment. That would certainly be the first step!