S&P 500 Heads for Best First Quarter Since 1998. It is up 12% for the year!
Texas Unemployment Rate Down To 7.1 Percent. Excerpt:
"The state's jobless rate was down from 7.3 percent in January and has dropped a full percentage point since August, the Texas Workforce Commission said. February's unemployment rate is the lowest since March 2009." (The U. S. unemployment rate was 8.3% for February)
US consumer spending rises as unemployment falls. Excerpt:
"Consumer spending climbed 0.8pc in February, the Commerce Department said on Friday, following a 0.4pc increase in January.
The figure was better than the 0.6pc Wall Street economists had expected, and came as a separate survey put consumer confidence at its highest level since February last year."
Consumer sentiment index at highest rate since late 2007. Excerpt:
"High oil prices or not, American consumers are feeling more confident about conditions than at any time since the recession began in late 2007.
That's according to the latest survey by Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, which reported Friday that its March consumer sentiment index climbed to 76.2 from 75.3 a month ago. That pushed up the average reading for the first quarter to the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007.
What's been boosting sentiment? In a word, jobs.
The last three months have seen an acceleration of job growth, and the Reuters/Michigan survey found that more people heard news about employment gains than at any other time in the 60-year history of the survey. And only 19% said they thought the jobless rate would increase in the year ahead."
Economists see more reasons for optimism this year.
"Economists are increasingly confident that some pillars of the U.S. economy will improve this year, but they still remain cautious in their expectations on the overall pace of economic growth.
The National Association for Business Economics said Monday that forecasters have raised their expectations for employment, new home construction and business spending this year. But they held on to their average prediction that America's gross domestic product, or GDP, will grow at a rate of 2.4 percent. That's a slight improvement from 2011, when economists believe the economy grew 1.6 percent. Final economic growth numbers for 2011 are due out Wednesday.
GDP reflects the economy's total output of goods and services. The latest forecast is in line with one issued by the group in November that called for the economy to grow 2.4 percent this year. Forecasters predict growth will be stronger in the second half of 2012 than it will be through June."
I think this guy captures the excitement: