Though the unemployment rate continues to rise, other indicators seem to be leveling off.
And the Wall Street Journal’s regular survey of economists has some relatively good news this week. The respondents say it’s possible the recession could be over by this fall.
But, according to WSJ: "The depth of the downturn means it will take years to eat up the slack created by the recession. Nearly half of the economists said it will take three to four years to close the output gap, while more than a quarter say it will take five to six years."
(Here’s Adam Fein’s take on the WSJ survey.)
Other economic data out this week:
- Industrial Production contracted at a slower pace – 0.5%. This, some economists say, is one indicator that manufacturing may be hitting bottom.
- Machine Tool Consumption in March is off by 68.6% for the year, but still up from February.
- Wholesale prices edged up in April.
And in other survey news, a survey of CFOs and senior-level executive CPAs showed pessimism about the U.S. economy has eased among that set. That survey was conducted by the American Institute of CPAs and the University of North Carolina’s business school. Optimism rose to 19% of the respondents, which, while that may sound low, is up from just 5% of respondents who said they were optimistic three months ago. It’s the true definition of baby steps, but at least we are moving in the right direction.