Is the American economy stronger than we think?
Small-business jobs in the Labor Department household survey have increased by an average 335,000 in each of the last three months. Kelly Evans of the Wall Street Journal notes that the ADP survey is showing stronger small-business employment. Earlier reports on business-capital investment show considerable strength. Despite all the debt and banking-contagion worries over in Europe, the U.S. stock market continues to creep higher. Initial jobless claims have slipped under 400,000. Oil prices continue to rise, gaining almost $20 over the past few months. Bank loans to businesses are rising in double digits. So is the M2 money supply. And corporate profits have exceeded expectations once again.
No, Washington is not helping. Neither is Europe. China looks shakier and shakier. And we know that consumer real incomes and housing are still problematic.
But let me wonder out loud: Is the American economy stronger than we think?