John Ransom

Weekly unemployment claims came in about as expected, which is good news considering our expectations for this economy are so low.

“In the week ending March 15,” says the Department of Labor, “the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 315,000. The 4-week moving average was 327,000, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 330,500.”

Economists expected 325,000 new claims.

With an administration like this we ought change their slogan to: “Working so hard, so you don’t have to... because getting you jobs would be kind of hard.”

Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

While the Federal Reserve has said that the labor market is stronger than they expected, they also said that unemployment remains “elevated” and that the economy is growing slower than they had forecast.

“They estimated the economy would expand at a rate of 2.8% to 3% this year,” reports the LA Times, “down from the December projection of 2.8% to 3.2%.”

That’s a fairly substantial rip downward in growth, and it’s still too high as forecasts go.

At this clip, just like unemployment, maybe they can get the growth rate to zero just in time for the election.

Zero unemployment, zero growth and zero hope.

When they said an economy “built to last,” they meant it. We just didn’t know that it would last this long so badly.

Because hidden inside the Fed-speak we heard yesterday is this simple acknowledgement: The Fed has a $4 trillion balance sheet of U.S. debt, and the rest of us have nothing to show for it but inflated retirement accounts which we pay for with higher prices as the gas pump.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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