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March 20, 2008

Some good economic news

Everything we hear about the economy today seems to be bad. Is there any good economic news?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"There actually are, and I think this is why many economists are having trouble deciding, 'Are we in a recession or not in a recession?' All the economic numbers are not necessarily going in the same direction. There are really four areas where we see a lot of economic hope. First and foremost is exports. Our exports are surging. That's partly due to the low-value dollar. We have a lot of companies that are in the export business, so if you're in the export business, your production and your factory lines actually are up. Then, speaking of factories, factory production is actually still rising. In fact, it was up over 2 percent last year. Thirdly, consumers are still buying, despite all the gloom and doom about consumers and consumer sentiment being down, retail purchases were up actually 4 percent last year, and the latest indicators are, they're still up. And lastly, consumer income. At the base of everything, income and the income of households and consumers really drives the economy. When you look at consumer income, take out taxes, take out inflation, it's still rising. In fact, it was up 2 percent in 2007. Now, of course, these trends can change, but right now, they indicate there are some hopeful areas in the economy."

Posted by Dave at March 20, 2008 08:36 AM