Friday | January 10, 2003
December Jobs Report Shows Weakening Economy
Probably to no one's surprise, the December jobs report came out this morning reflecting over 100,000 more lost jobs, primarily in manufacturing and retail. Given that retailers normally add jobs in December, not cut them, this makes you wonder what will happen in the coming months now that it is clear that the Christmas season may have been the worst for sales in years. And the story notes that manufacturing jobs have fallen each month that Bush has been in office, with over 600,000 manufacturing jobs being lost just in the last 12 months.
Most interesting in the NYTimes story are the comments from the two Wall Street economists quoted:
"David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International, called the statistics "profoundly disappointing."
"They tell us we are still waiting for the economy to kick in enough for companies to start hiring," he said.
Indeed, the report was so weak that Mr. Resler said he might be forced to reduce his projections for fourth-quarter economic growth. Up to now, he was forecasting a paltry increase of 0.5 percent.
"These numbers say I might have the right number but the wrong sign," he said. "
"I agree with the Democratic plan much more than the president's," said William Dudley, chief United States economist at Goldman Sachs. "But I would make the Democratic plan a little bigger and extend it into 2004."
If the fourth quarter GDP indeed shows a decline, and if we invade in February in the midst of a slumping post-Christmas, oil-price spiked economy, why is it not plausible that we find ourselves in a double-dip recession in the Spring, one that Bush must take full responsibility for himself, rather than blaming it also on Clinton?
SotoPosted January 10, 2003 10:04 AM | Comments (21)