John Ransom

Unemployment at six week low! Manufacturing hits one-and-a-half year high! Dollar trades at six-month-high! North Sea oil offered at three-month low! Oil rises to two month high! Treasury bond yield hits one-month low on fears over Italy! Sun rises fastest in last 23 hours and 50…ah…err…um…ahem….

OK; scratch that last one because unlike the other new highs or lows trumpeted by the press in our real-life examples, the LAST one is just SILLY.

The others are silly too, but they are more than just silly; they are deceptive. And they mean to be deceptive too.

Let’s look at the unemployment claims for example.

The real story there is that the trend for unemployment claims is dropping over a longer period of time.

“First-time jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 7,000 to 340,000,” reports Bloomberg “in the week ended March 2, the lowest since the period ended Jan. 19, according to data today from the Labor Department in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 355,000. The four-week average dropped to a five-year low.”

Now that’s a good story.

Jobless claims are now on par with the worst of the Bush administration!

Congrats Mr. Obama.

But that’s not all that he’s accomplished.

The sudden, Fed-induced lunge in stock prices and home prices has restored the wealth of the national household back to levels not seen since 2007.

“Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession,” reports CNBC. “The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.”

And just in time too.

At a time when tax hikes, oil prices and stagnant wages are eating up families, more and more families are dipping into savings in order to pay the bills…just like the federal government is doing.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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