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Unemployment December 2013

Economy on the Mend: Good News or Bad News?

Robert Kuttner | Posted 02.07.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Three pieces of seemingly good economic news dominated the headlines last week. The official unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent, its lowest level since 2008. The GDP growth rate for the third quarter was revised upwards to an impressive 3.6 percent. And while money markets briefly lurched downward out of fear that the good news would cause the Fed to slow down its program of massive bond purchase, quite possibly raising interest rates and aborting a stronger recovery, the markets quickly shook off those fears. Investors and traders evidently concluded that the economy had found a Goldilocks spot of not too cold and not too hot. Stock indexes closed the week only a shade below their historic highs. Should we be encouraged? Is this, at long last, the recovery of broadly shared prosperity we've been waiting for? Not yet, I'm afraid.