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United States Takes Steps to Make Economy Better

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Guest Marianna

January's exports of U.S. goods and services -- $167.7 billion -- was the largest monthly total ever recorded, surpassing the previous record of $165.7 billion, which occurred in July 2008, according to data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department.


BEA reported that for the 12-month period ending Jan. 31, 2011, exports of goods and services totaled $1.86 trillion, putting U.S. exports 18.2 percent above the level of exports in 2009. During the same period, exports have been growing at an annualized rate of 16.7 percent when compared to 2009, a pace greater than the 15 percent required to double exports by the end of 2014.


Also contributing to U.S. export growth, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) authorized $8.25 billion for the first four months of fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 2010 through Jan. 2011), supporting $10.3 billion in U.S. exports and approximately 75,000 American jobs. The Bank's support of U.S. small business exports also grew to $1.5 billion, compared with $1.4 billion for the same four-month period a year ago.


"The growth trend in U.S. exports remains strong and the United States is on track to meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports and supporting two million American jobs by the end of 2014," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.


Among the major export markets (defined as markets averaging at least $6 billion per year in imports of U.S. goods), the largest percentage increases in U.S. goods purchases occurred in Turkey (50.6 percent), Panama (39.8 percent), Taiwan (38.6 percent), Peru (36.7 percent), Brazil (35.6 percent), Korea (34.2 percent), Malaysia (33.7 percent), Argentina (33.3 percent), Indonesia (32.8 percent), and Egypt (31.3 percent).

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Guest LAW

216,000 jobs gained. About 230,000 gained in the private sector, and around 15,000 lost in the public sector. Americans are still waiting for Republicans to come up with their own Bill to create more jobs. So far they have done nothing <_<


Note: This week's release reflects the annual revision to the weekly unemployment claims seasonal adjusted factors. The historical factors from 2006 forward have been revised. The calendar year 2011 factors can be accessed at the following link:








In the week ending March 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 394,000. The 4-week moving average was 394,250, a increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 391,000.


The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.0 percent for the week ending March 19, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.


The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 19 was 3,714,000, a decrease of 51,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,765,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,765,250, a decrease of 32,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,798,000.




The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 354,301 in the week ending March 26, a decrease of 156 from the previous week. There were 412,710 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.


The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.3 percent during the week ending March 19, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,111,925, a decrease of 165,167 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.0 percent and the volume was 5,207,496.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 12 was 8,770,443.


Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, during the week ending March 12.


Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,566 in the week ending March 19, a decrease of 61 from the prior week. There were 2,110 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 208 from the preceding week.


There were 40,164 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending March 12, an increase of 725 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 38,651, a decrease of 477 from the prior week.


States reported 3,588,816 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending March 12, a decrease of 38,838 from the prior week. There were 5,891,783 claimants in the comparable week in 2010. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.


The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 12 were in Alaska (6.5 percent), Pennsylvania (5.1), Idaho (4.9), Montana (4.9), Puerto Rico (4.9), Rhode Island (4.9), Oregon (4.7), Wisconsin (4.7), New Jersey (4.6), California (4.4), Connecticut (4.4), and Illinois (4.4).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 19 were in North Carolina (+974), Missouri (+907), Tennessee (+474), Louisiana (+424), and Iowa (+334), while the largest decreases were in Illinois (-2,696), California (-2,150), Pennsylvania (-2,145), Ohio (-1,320), and Washington (-1,215).

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Guest Thomas

Here is an excerpt of what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated.


To build on this progress, Washington must work to alleviate the regulatory burden and open new markets for American businesses.


Positive indicators in the broader economy have produced consistent improvements in the labor market over the past few months. However, with the political disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa, the tragic events in Japan, and the fiscal problems in Western Europe, the outlook for the international economy has worsened recently. If these problems were to spillover to the U.S. economy, causing growth to slow below its potential rate of growth of between 2.5 – 2.75%, they could upset the modest job gains we’ve seen thus far.

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We need to better understand the definition of our economic system.


We as a People need to better understand of the the history of Capitalism and the world of finance. We as a People need to better understand the role of a transaction in a totally unpredictable world, where we better forecast our future, creating a highly secured software judicial system that better flags and records all public markets financial anomalies of buyers/sellers. A dynamically updated anomalies report would be sent to Regulators to review and take action. After a reasonable period of time the report should be declassified, so the public can review it. Maybe this type of report would give us all better perspective and values, so that our leaders in all three branches of government can better serve all Citizens equally.




Made in the United States

Made in USA

Made in America

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Guest DC Gift Shop

Here some good news.


Latest ASI Research Shows 2011 Sales Up 6.2% to $18.5 Billion

Industry rebound shows growth for eight straight quarters


TREVOSE, PA – January 24, 2012 – The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) today released its 2011 distributor sales research report showing total industry sales of $18.5 billion, up 6.2% from 2010.

Sales have increased for eight straight quarters, with a 6.5% 2011 fourth-quarter sales increase reported – the highest since the first quarter of 2011.

“This latest ASI sales survey proves the ad specialty industry continues a strong rebound begun two years ago on the heels of the worst economic downturn in recent history,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Further, it shows a majority of distributors feel optimistic about 2012 sales, which is another indication of continued growth for a recession-proof industry.”

Highlights of the sales study include:

  • Eighty-five percent of larger distributors (over $1 million in revenue) reported an increase in sales in 2011, while over two-thirds (70%) of all distributors reported an increase.
  • Over one-half (54%) of all distributors reported an increase in the fourth quarter, with distributorships of at least $250,000 in annual revenue reporting greater percentage increases in sales than small distributorships.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of all distributors feel sales for 2012 will be higher than sales in 2011.
  • The sales forecast among distributor firms for 2012 vs. 2011 shows consistency across different sized distributorships. About three-quarters of all sized distributor firms feel that sales in 2012 will be higher than in 2011.

ASI commissioned the exclusive survey to estimate industry sales for 2011. The industry outlook for 2012 was also included in the study. Invitations went to ASI distributor members who were the primary contact with their firms, and had been in business at least one year.

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Guest LAW

Statement for the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Secuirities Industry and Financial Markets Association


Janice Eberly

Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy


The recovery continued to firm in the final quarter of last year, and labor market conditions improved. According to the advance GDP report released last week, the economy grew by 2.8 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter, the tenth straight quarter of growth since the recession ended in mid-2009. Job growth accelerated in the final months of 2011, and the unemployment rate declined sharply, although at 8.5 percent, it still remains too high. The unwinding of the effects of temporary shocks sustained earlier last year helped boost growth in the second half of the year. Private forecasters anticipate a more moderate but stable path of expansion going forward. Even so, further progress this year in reducing unemployment from current levels may be limited. The economy continues to face a number of challenges, including the slowdown in growth overseas, particularly in Europe, and the threat of further fiscal contraction at all levels of government. The Administration remains committed to fostering stronger near-term growth and a more rapid pace of job creation and to redressing the country’s longer-term fiscal situation.

During 2011, real GDP expanded by 1.6 percent. Growth slowed sharply in the first half of the year, to just 0.8 percent, as temporary shocks including surging energy prices and supply chain disruptions related to the disaster in Japan restrained output. According to the advance report on fourth-quarter GDP, growth accelerated at the end of 2011 to a 2.8 percent annual rate from a 1.8 percent pace in the third quarter. Since the recovery began in mid-2009, the economy has grown by 6.2 percent, lifting real GDP 0.7 percent above its level at the end of 2007, when the recession began.


The fourth-quarter pickup in growth was due mainly to a marked acceleration in private inventory accumulation, which contributed nearly 2 percentage points to real GDP growth after subtracting more than half that amount in the previous quarter. Faster growth of personal consumption expenditures and a notably stronger pace of residential investment also contributed to the improved pace of activity in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending rose 2.0 percent at an annual rate, up from a 1.7 percent pace in the third quarter, and added roughly 1.5 percentage points to growth. Residential investment advanced nearly 11 percent, the most since the spring of 2010, when the home buyer tax credit was a factor. Residential investment added ¼ percentage point to fourth-quarter GDP growth after contributing little in the previous four quarters. Private domestic final purchases – the sum of consumption, business fixed investment, and residential investment – grew at a solid 2¼ percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, and by 2¾ percent in the second half of 2011. This measure excludes government spending, exports, and imports, focusing on the strength in underlying private demand. The acceleration from the first half’s pace of just under 2 percent is a welcome sign that the recovery is regaining forward momentum. At the same time, however, government spending was a large drag on growth in the fourth quarter, falling by 4.6 percent at an annual rate and subtracting 0.9 percentage point from GDP growth.


Some of the strength in the final quarter of last year reflected a reversal of the temporary factors that held down growth earlier in 2011, including supply-chain disruptions in the auto industry stemming from the natural disaster in Japan last March. Consumer spending on motor vehicles was particularly strong in Q4, surging by nearly 38 percent at an annual rate. Earlier in the year, consumption of motor vehicles was held back in part by dealership shortages of popular models due to supply chain disruptions. Consumer spending on motor vehicles plunged by 25.5 percent at an annual rate in Q2 and rose just 1.6 percent in Q3. The fallback in energy prices from peak levels reached last spring likely contributed to the recent stronger performance of the economy as well. Although oil prices have moved higher over the past few months, they remain below the peak level of $110 per barrel recorded last spring, and dipped below $100 per barrel late last week. Similarly, the retail price of regular gasoline, at roughly $3.40 per gallon, is substantially below the nearly $4.00 per gallon price tag of last May.


In the labor market, hiring continues to pick up, and the unemployment rate has recently moved lower. The private sector created an average 160,000 jobs per month in 2011, up from 98,000 per month in 2010. Job growth picked up towards the end of 2011 following a slowdown during the summer. On average, private employers added 172,000 jobs per month in the last four months of the year, compared to just 107,000 per month from June through August. Nearly 2 million private sector jobs were added last year – more than in any year since 2005 – and since the employment low of February 2010, businesses have added 3.2 million jobs to their payrolls. At 8.5 percent in December, the nation’s unemployment rate is the lowest since February 2009. It is encouraging to note that the 0.5 percentage point drop in the jobless rate during the fourth quarter was due mainly to increased employment. Other positive trends include upticks in labor force participation, the length of the average workweek, and average hourly earnings. Moreover, there are signs that job losses have slowed at the state and local government level.


Although the housing market remains very weak, recent housing data have been more favorable, suggesting that conditions are starting to improve. Single-family housing starts, permits, and home sales picked up in the last three months of 2011. The inventory of homes for sale is falling, and home builder confidence, though still very low, has improved notably over the past several months. Mortgage rates are at record low levels, and housing affordability is at an all-time high. Overall, home prices appear to be stabilizing, and the latest monthly report shows the Federal Housing Financing Agency’s House Price Index posting its largest percentage gain in nearly seven years. Of concern, though, is the potential for further declines, given the large stock of homes still in the foreclosure pipeline.


Improving economic and financial conditions contributed to a better-than-expected fiscal picture in the fiscal year just ended, FY2011. The federal budget deficit was little changed at $1.299 trillion but as a share of the economy declined to 8.7 percent of GDP from 9.0 percent in FY2010. Estimates published early last year, in the President’s FY2012 budget, projected a much larger deficit of $1.645 trillion (11.0 percent of GDP) for FY2011. The Budget Control Act enacted last August guarantees that we will trim the deficit by at least an additional $2.1 trillion over the next decade.


Set against the variety of positive signs for the future are a handful of significant downside risks, however. Although exports have provided significant support for growth since the recovery began, a slowdown in the global economy and the likelihood of recession in Europe is expected to cut into foreign demand for U.S. goods and services going forward. In real terms, exports of goods and services have increased nearly 25 percent since the trough of the recession. Growth has moderated recently, however, and in the fourth quarter imports rose faster than exports, causing the trade deficit to widen slightly. As a result, net exports (exports less imports) made a small negative contribution to real GDP growth. We also remain concerned about the possibility of financial spill-overs from the Eurozone crisis. At the state and local government level, finances remain constrained, suggesting additional fiscal drag on top of planned consolidation at the federal level.


In sum, the economy has recovered from the many setbacks it faced early last year and is clearly starting to firm. While we are cautiously optimistic about the near-term outlook, we remain cognizant of the many challenges our economy still faces, including the high level of unemployment, the threat of further fiscal contraction at all levels of government, and our vulnerability to global economic conditions. These risks underscore the importance of enacting policies that put the economy on a firmer footing. The President’s initiatives to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for the full year should remain a high priority given the amount of fiscal drag already evident in the latest GDP data. At this critical juncture, we need to remain consistent in our support for the recovery.

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American companies need to be ready for the upcoming infrastructure wave abroad that will need heavy machinery to meet the demands of a rising international middle class that will be need to get to and from work.

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