Good Economic News Week Gives Obama White House Something To Cheer

After weeks of stumbles, the administration got several pieces of good economic news, suggesting 2014 may be better for the White House than 2013 has been.

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Attendees photograph U.S. President Barack Obama with their mobile phones at a Women's History Month reception at the White House in Washington, March 18.

When everyone else in Washington was taking a break over Thanksgiving weekend, regulators from the five federal agencies that have been fighting over one of the most controversial measures in banking reform were hunkered down trying to get a deal. And they appear to have got one.

Next Tuesday, the agencies are expected to unveil their interpretation of the so-called Volcker Rule, which is supposed to bar banks from using insured deposits to trade for their own profit. Among the tougher-than-expected elements of the new regulation are provisions requiring accountability at the management level of any bank that breaks the rule, according to a Treasury official familiar with the negotiations.

The Volcker Rule announcement Tuesday will cap a week of good news and improving economic expectations for the Obama administration on everything from jobs to growth, the budget and financial market reform. In each area there are caveats to the good news, but taken together the improvements are likely to affect both the mood of the markets and the political environment heading into the mid-term elections next fall.

Last Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a revised estimate of 3.6% annual growth in the economy during the third quarter, a big jump from the 2.8% initially reported. Analysts rightly cautioned that much of the revision was attributable to businesses stockpiling inventory, and that the number was likely to be smaller in the fourth quarter. But it was the best number in a year and suggested increased confidence in the economy.

That sentiment was bolstered by word Thursday that Democrats and Republicans might reach a narrow deal to avoid another fight over the budget and the debt limit when the current stop-gap deals run out in January and February. House and Senate budget chiefs are reportedly within striking distance of a deal to raise some spending caps and regularize the appropriations process for the near future. Such a deal would not end the budget fights, but it would reassure markets that Washington wouldn’t derail the economy every few months as they have for the last four years.

Best of all from the administration’s perspective, a better-than-expected employment number for November came on Friday, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting 203,000 new jobs and a drop to 7% in the unemployment rate. Many millions of people still aren’t looking for work and the number of people in the labor market is at a historic low. But the financial markets responded positively to the news, suggesting for the first time in many months that they have confidence the economy can stand on its own if the Federal Reserve begins to reduce its monetary supports.

There are plenty of potential hurdles ahead for the administration and the economy. But you can sense the optimism this raft of numbers is producing in the administration. Beset for months with the bad news of the health reform roll-out and Obama’s lousy poll numbers, Democrats in the White House and on the Hill now have reason to hope that the ten months leading up to the 2014 elections will be a period of improving economic conditions, allowing them to claim progress, at last, for their policies.

68 comments
TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

Of the 240,000 people hired, and 41% of them are government jobs. This has been the trend since Barry came to power. 


Gas prices are higher, persons living in poverty higher, food stamp recipients higher, real household income is lower..You get the drift..


Also, of the 1.6 million that have signed up for Obamacare, 1.4 million of them are on the Medicaid rolls. Like Obama and Carney keep saying, most people will not see an increase in their premiums, what they don't say is that those of us who have to buy insurance will. Free lunch for every one..

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

Maximo Calabrese ? This is the type of journalist who if Obama says jump will answer Master, how high do you want me to jump ? With this Administration propensity to lie, make up statistical data to fool the people forget it. If Obama himself can lie straight to the camera more than twenty times about Obama Care, if he can send secret messages to Putin which if not for the hot mic nobody knows, only God knows what else did he lie or make up about. There are enough gullible people in this page who will swallow this hook line and sinker.


roknsteve
roknsteve

The conservative chicken hawk sissy girls are sure out in force today.  All feathers and no meat. 

straighthorse
straighthorse

Whoppee.....  more bartenders, seasonal work and people dropping out and you think this is good news... no insurance, no full time positions, and basically the same $hit as before..... you think the American people are still falling for these numbers.. unemployment is about 20% and good luck with that expensive college degree... over 50 and under 34 good luck......

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Where do you get you info? The trend since Obama came to power is a decrease in the rate of government employees, unlike the last guy where the great majority of the hiring was done by the government.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@TerryClifton02 Uhm...gas prices came down below $3.00 in Ohio last week...both state and federal governments have shed jobs since Obama was elected, real household income has been trending lower since Reagan,  but other than those, and every other point you made...good post. 

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"With this Administration propensity to lie, make up statistical data to fool the people forget it."


Didn't you vote for Bush/Cheney? Twice?! Just STFU.

tom.litton
tom.litton

Where do you get the 20%?  The official unemployment rate is 7%.  The workforce participation rate is at about 64% now (if i recall correctly), making all those who are not working (regardless if they want to or not) at 36%.  


If you could link where you got the 20% number, i would appreciate it.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

And the GOP is doing their hardest to break Unions and hold down minimum wage. Wonder if there is any connection.

BobJan
BobJan

and it all started before he came into office. so what else is new that we don't already know?

rt2012
rt2012

I must have had too much to drink.  I'm already seeing double after one beer.  

We've already learned from the Bush administration that just because you say it more than once (and keep repeating it ad infinitum) does not make it true.
 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Still spamming every thread with your lies. Good for you clown.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@shepherdwong Nope. Voted for Obama in 08. Biggest mistake ever made. Too late in 12 as Romney turned out to be a wimp. Dont open your freaking yap before you know all the facts Mr Wrong. Now, you STFU.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Ironic coming from the guy whose handle is "Libtards-UNITE"

MarshaMcBlaine
MarshaMcBlaine

@mantisdragon91 You are wrong that is the Democrat party that is doing that and more.  Obama is a liar and he can't ever be trusted.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

And yet come 2014 that ill be forgotten, but the GOP idiocy will still be ongoing.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 Right after the Obama Brain Trust flubbed the roll out of the miserable and pathetic legislative over hyped law of the century.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Flushing? Is that before or after the GOP Brain Trust shuts down the government yet again?

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 Hello Mantis. Good to hear from you. I see you are in your frisky self again today. He is right. Libtards should unite. They are overdue for a flushing next year and in 2016 I would sure miss you if you get caught.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 Never mind, Mantis. Go on. One person more oblivious to the dire situation under Obama is one more person happy in his own mind. One less discontented person in this country. Let those of us who are aware of the reality worry about the situation where this nation is headed.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Adrift from reality? That is rich coming from the person who disputes the failures of the GWB administration.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 Reminding you of your getting adrift from reality is not an insult Mantis. Consider this a help from a friend before it is too late. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

It is? So why are housing prices, auto sales, stock prices and corporate profits all up? Is he faking all of that?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

So yet again no real arguments and more insults. How typical and sad.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 By the Mantis the secretary of your psychiatrist called for you not to forget your appointment. As the days past your delusions are getting worse.She says consider this very urgent.

MarshaMcBlaine
MarshaMcBlaine

@shepherdwong I am not a racists but since Obama been president which he makes all blacks a liar and can't be trusted.  Obama is a liar. I hope you will wake up and find yourself back home.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

You mean the economic recovery and reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the world? Reminds us what the 8 years before that have proven about conservatives.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@shepherdwong No Mister Wrong, Libturds like you are the last persons to be taken seriously. The last five years have proven people right about liberals. Good in talking not so much on action.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"Obama is a liar and he can't ever be trusted."

And you're a right-wing-authoritarian-follower (and probably a racist to boot), corrupted by "conservative" epistemic closure. The last sort of person in the world to be taken seriously.

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@mantisdragon91 he is to me, this is a personal thing because of my being eyewitness to Obama's organized crime activity. I dont dispute your assement of Reagan and Bush. This is a ture, non partisan issue


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Learn then. See I would be willing to take you seriously, but not when you scream that this president is the worst war criminal ever. Not even close when people like Reagan and Bush preceded him.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Those people are minor figures at best. If you want to worry about something worry about people like Sheldon Adelson that are bribing our politicians to ensure a war with Iran. Worry about the defense contractors that badly want another war to juice their profits, which is why the GOP is sabre rattling and talking about using nukes on Iran.

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@mantisdragon91 and verifiable information concerning power figures such as John Zuccotti of Occupy fame and David Ignatius of the Washington Post is more than a "shed" of truth. every word is true.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

What is happening now is a product of an NSA establishment given too much power under the last administration.

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@mantisdragon91 look this is happening now, I was eyewitness to recent criminal activity by the administration and Obama is at the wheel. Why the hell would I rail about anyone else?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Evert lie has a shred of truth behind it,but it is amusing how you rail about Obama, while selectively forgetting under which president the power grab, rewriting of the Constitution and war crimes actually occurred.

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@mantisdragon91 Hmm, there are a lot of things that can be verified. my employment history and contacts and businesses, for example. Why dont you check the parts which can be verified on the internet. If you want you can see my scars, at least you would accept that part is true?

BobJan
BobJan

You can take Obama's name and replace it with any of the last 10 or 20 presidents and it would be valid. So what's your point?