On the heels of President Obama’s Midwest “campaign style” tour, a quick look at today’s headlines reinforces the point that an editorial in the Buffalo News made Tuesday: “This country needs a leader now who can turn the economy around, and it's become clear that Obama has no idea how to do it.” Over two and a half years into his Presidency, President Obama has failed to put forward a plan that grows the economy and puts Americans back to work.
- Jobless Claims On The Rise. More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market is struggling two years into the economic recovery. Jobless claims climbed by 9,000 to 408,000 in the week ended Aug. 13, the highest in a month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. ... “People continue to get laid off,” David Semmens, a U.S. economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said before the report. “The uncertainty in the economic outlook is continuing to give hiring managers sleepless nights and is keeping businesses from expanding. We have an incredibly long way to go” to get a healthy labor market, Semmens said. (Bloomberg, 8/18/11)
- Philadelphia-Area Manufacturing Plunges To Its Lowest Level Since March 2009. Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly contracted in August by the most in more than two years as orders plunged and factories shed workers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's general economic index plunged to minus 30.7 this month, the lowest since March 2009, from 3.2 in July. Economists forecast the gauge would rise to 2, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. (Bloomberg, 8/18/11)
- Existing-Home Sales Drop. Existing-home sales declined 3.5% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected home sales to rise by 4.0% to an annual rate of 4.96 million. Sales in June were revised to 4.84 million from a previously estimated 4.77 million. (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/11)
- Satisfaction With The Direction Of The Nation Drops To A New Low During The Obama Presidency. Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has fallen back to 11%, the lowest level since December 2008 and just four percentage points above the all-time low recorded in October 2008. (Gallup, 8/18/11)