Obama falters in Gallup poll on economy: what that says about the recovery
A new Gallup poll finds the approval rating for Obama has fallen to 35 percent for his handling of the economy, suggesting public impatience with the pace of the recovery.
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And then this, from the president: “Now, today, a rising stock market has millions of retirement balances going up, and some of the losses that had taken place during the financial crisis have been recovered.”Skip to next paragraph
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One recent manufacturing industry report found the “pace of growth in the US manufacturing sector accelerated in July to the highest level in two years as new orders surged,” according to Reuters. Reuters said the report’s data supports “the view the economy will pick up in the second half of the year.”
Others see that manufacturing sector job growth has jumped around and ultimately leveled off since its February 2010 low point, reports the Washington Post. Obama has repeatedly championed the 500,000 manufacturing jobs added, but the paper’s Glenn Kessler reports that those gains were made a year ago and since then the trend is “downhill.”
“No one doubts that US-based manufacturing has experienced a very steep rebound from a deep recession,” said Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the US Business and Industry Council in an interview with Kessler, but “it has slowed to a crawl over the last year or so.”
Meanwhile, on Obama’s second point, in 2012 home sales “rebounded to the strongest level in five years” – with CNN citing low mortgage rates, a drop in foreclosures, and rising home prices as drawing more consumers back to the market.
And while not everyone agrees that the stock market provides a clear window into a recovery, it’s surge in 2013 is viewed positively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high – 15,658.36 – earlier this month.
This type of growth, however, leads some to determine that the wealthy benefit disproportionately. “Economic recovery favors the more affluent who own stocks,” concluded the Pew Research Center.
Considering these and other markers, many prognostications suggest, much as the president does, that the nation is engaged in a slow recovery. Still, Bloomberg deemed the path “fitful” for the first half of 2013, following federal spending cuts and tax increases that delayed growth earlier in the year.
“We expect things to continue to pick up, although it’s probably not going to be an even trajectory,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla., said to Bloomberg last month. “We’re still definitely on the recovery path.”
So are there other signs that the economy is heading south? And do they help explain the public’s general unease?
“The biggest uncertainties remain the pace of business spending, the improvements in consumer spending power, and the impact of slower global growth on US exports,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board in a statement to Bloomberg.