Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Economy Starts to Crawl; No Longer on its Back

Ah these are some good signs that the economy is starting to look a little brighter.

The latest evidence came Tuesday when the government said housing starts and building permits rebounded in February.

This followed last week's figures on retail sales, which showed consumers were starting to buy more than just the basics. Discretionary categories including electronics and furniture showed surprising strength.

I have noticed that restaurants are starting to fill up little by little. I was in Chili's the other day and it was packed by about 6PM or so. In November restaurants like that seemed like ghost towns with only a handful of people sharing appetizers. The only bad thing is that the recovery can still be throttled by one bad move from Washington.

Economists think the policy response from Washington offers the best hope that these tentative signs of life will translate into economic growth before the year is out. Unfortunately, policy missteps pose the biggest risk to recovery.

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