What’s this? The nation’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 5 percent annually?
That’s the greatest increase in the GDP in 11 years. The economy not only has pulled itself back from the abyss, it has kicked itself into high gear.
What were investors’ reaction? The Dow Jones Industrial Average today closed at more than 18,000 points for the first time in history. The S&P set another record. Investors are happy. My own retirement account is making me happy again.
Here, though, is where I get confused.
I keep reading doomsayers lament the “wrong direction” the country allegedly is headed. Wrong direction.
The price of gasoline is down. Supply of fossil fuel is up. The United States is now the world’s No. 1 producer of petroleum. That’s one segment of the economy that’s looking up, and is getting the credit for the revised increase in the GDP.
You want more? The budget deficit has been cut by more than half. Remember the yammering of those who wondered whether the economic stimulus would bankrupt the Treasury? It didn’t happen. I consider myself a deficit hawk, so I view the reduction in the deficit as a positive sign that government spending is not hurtling out of control, as some have suggested.
Here’s another kick in the teeth to the naysayers. The most recent jobs report posted more than 300,000 added to the labor force. Even better is that wages are up. It was that pesky wage figure that kept fanning the flames of those who just couldn’t believe the economy had actually turned the corner.
The gloom-and-doom squad is continuing to outshout the other side.
I do not intend to let them get away with it so easily.