Bernstein: U.S. Economy Has Come 'Back From the Abyss'

Friday, 05 Mar 2010 02:29 PM

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The U.S. economy is recovering and is “back from the abyss,” said Jared Bernstein, senior economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

“The economy is expanding again,” he says. The labor market needs to improve because it is “far from out of the woods,” Bernstein said. Work needs to be done to reduce the unemployment rate, he told Bloomberg TV.

Creating more jobs is the first priority, he said. "The message is continuing progress for the economy, if not as fast as hoped," said Pierre Ellis, a senior economist at Decision Economics in New York, Reuters reported.

During the fourth quarter of 2009, the US economy increased at an adjusted annual rate of 5.9 percent, the Financial Times reported.

However, spending by consumers remained lackluster.

“As long as income growth remains sluggish, in order to propel GDP (gross domestic product) consumers will have to continue to wind down the savings built up in 2009,"  said Brian Sozzi, an analyst at Wall Street Strategies.
"Whether this happens is an unknown variable given uncertain prospects on jobs and the overall direction of the US economy.”

A recent Institute of Supply Management survey demonstrated that although manufacturing activity continued increased in February, it grew at a slower rate than January.

Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM’s survey committee, said an expansion of hiring from manufacturer was a move in the right direction.

“With these levels of activity, manufacturers are seemingly willing to hire where they have orders to support higher employment,” Ore said.

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