JOBS: Back to Work-But Only in Trickles

Apart from inflation, most of the standard indicators of the U.S. economy are showing heartening, and at times surprising strength. For example, July sales of big-ticket appliances were the strongest since last fall, and housing starts during the month surged 14% ahead of June. Government statisticians last week concluded that real output of all goods and services in the second quarter actually rose at an annual rate of 1.6%, rather than falling at a .3% pace as first estimated—an indication that the worst recession in 30 years ended somewhat earlier than had...

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