America on the Rebound?

The United States has been boasting economic growth and stabilization over the past few weeks. The dollar is at a multi-week high, and retail sales in February showed the largest gain in five months. The jobs report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, announced that the private sector added 233,000 jobs in February 2012 and the labor force participation rate recorded the largest increase in two years. Economists say that these trends are the real deal. “HIS Global Insight is projecting that all 50 states will see employment increases this year,” said the Weekly Standard. Additionally, American families and households are seeing positive results as well; during the last quarter of 2011, average household net worth rose by $1.2 trillion. The Obama administration also has good news for homeowners. Bank of America will be reducing mortgage balances on approximately 200,000 homes to avoid paying $850 million in penalties.

In trade news, U.S. domestic oil production is at its highest since 2003 (5.6 million barrels/day).  The United States is currently importing 45 percent of its petroleum, down from 57% in 2008. The Obama Administration says that these statistics show that the United States is on track to meet the administration’s goal of reducing oil imports by 1/3 in the next 10 years.  According to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans think Obama and Congress can do more to reduce gas prices, which have been steadily increasing over the past year. Together with the recovering economy and high prices at the pump, a record number of Americans are choosing to take public transportation: 10.4 billion trips were taken in 2011.

Combined with the news that China is posting its first trade deficit in a decade ($31.5 billion), and the euro is a at a one-month low against the dollar – things are looking up for the United States economy.

Posted by: Devon Thorsell

Sources: Weekly Standard, Boston Herald, Reuters, Wall Street Journal


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