Is the Economy Turning Around?

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Last week it was revealed that the U.S. gross domestic product grew 7.2 percent over the summer, the fastest pace since 1984. The country also saw a 6.6 percent jump in consumer spending during the same quarter. Some economists are saying this could mean the economy is finally pulling out of its slump, but naysayers point to the fact that employment fell by 165,000 jobs during the quarter of growth and that the job market does not yet seem to be improving. What do you think? Does the growth in productivity signal an economic turnaround, or is this just a false indicator?

Some of your responses:

Let me say that I am grateful to have a job. I also want to say that during the first round of tax cuts, the President said that we would see more jobs created. We are talking like a million jobs. Where are those jobs for those that are out of work? You know something? This just goes to show that you cannot put your trust in what a politician tells you. YOU have to create what you want out of life.
De Andrae Jennings
New York, N.Y.

Nope — not until we see a substantial increase in the number of well-paying jobs. I won't consider the economy to have improved until the number of people living in poverty actually drops. As it stands, Bush's tax cuts and sorry excuse for an economic policy have done nothing to help out my family's household.
Elaine Matthew
Minneapolis, Minn.

The increase in GDP is negated by an equal (or greater) increase in debt. Shouldn't economists take the frightening increase into account when praising the growth factor?
Gerrie Ryan
Escondido, Calif.

I believe it is slowly recovering because of increased employment and consumer spending. Supply and demand is equalizing and the cycle of lost jobs and decreased spending finally is turning around as industries slowly rebound. The ending of the war with Iraq helped the economy even further as consumer confidence is greater. Even though a lot of companies tend to lay off people as a means of rebounding, I believe all industries will need to increase hiring in the near future because of demand.
Marc Sontz
Raleigh, N.C.

Depends on your prospective. If you're poor, then no. If you're part of the rapidly fading-for-the-worse middle class, no. If you're lucky enough to be a member of the upper crust of society, you're probably saying "The economy was in trouble?" From my porspective, I see no impressionable change in the hole we're in.
R. Smith
New York, N.Y.

I'm not an economist to say whether the economy is turning around or not but in spite of all our troubles, here in the USA we have access to goods and services that other people around the world don't even dream of. Let's be thankful for what we have.
Harrison Parker

This economy will not improve until corporate America quits sending jobs offshore to boost their profit margins. If American corporations continue to desert American workers by sending jobs to India and Asia, they will have no one left to purchase their products. Wake up, corporate America!
J. Calandre
Clarkston, Mich.

Not if you define "turning around" as "more jobs paying above minimum wage", or as "more middle-class wage-earners employed". We are approaching a crisis in the loss of manufacturing and skilled-labor jobs that will create a two-class economy: the wealthy and the fast-food and Wal-Mart workers. An economy like that is closer to the Third World than the U.S. of the 40s through the 70s.
Mark Shanks
Portland, Ore.

It seems to turn around, but we must be prudent and see what's gonna happen in the next 6 months: the American economic recovery will influence the foreign markets and we have to wait for their trend, then there are still hotbeds of revolt in the Middle East and we don't know how is gonna be the consequences, there are so many factors at stake. Anyway I am optimist, I trust the American country, it is strong, I am sure it will get better.
Leonardo Selmi
Pisa, Italy

Not from my family's point of view. There is no increase in our wallets. There are also no decent job prospects. You sure can't raise a family on $5-$6/hr.
Deanna Dunlap
Jackson, Mich.

Yes, the economy seems to be turning around. Companies are taking a cautious approach in hiring. I think this is the right thing to do. We do not want another economy boom followed by a big slide. However, Americans might not see a significant growth in jobs due to outsourcing.
Kalpana Mittal
Sturbridge, Mass.

I would have to say yes, but slowly, as all good recoveries take time. To ask regularly about a slow-moving economy, be it moving up or down, is inches from a rhetorical question. It can move up for some, down for others, and debates can become pointless.
David Stiefel
Grand Ledge, Mich.

I didn't know there was a slowdown in the economy. Business has been great for the last 27 months. I've had to increase my work force four times in the last year. What's the big fuss about?
Tim Lapuyaude
Ponchatoula, La.

No, one aberrant quarter doth not a recovery make. We cannot say that we are out of the woods until job growth matches Bush's jobs lost. We need a return of high paying jobs to the economy to see a true turnaround.
Catherine S. Payne
Westminster, Colo.

Not from where we stand. We are both in our 70s, and nothing has improved in our wallets to help it.
Verna B.

I don't see any appreciable difference since unemployment has made little advance. Just because some buying increased the GDP has no bearing on unemployment. There are more anticipated job losses in the next few months and even years. I cannot see that this employment quagmire is going to impact appreciably on the GDP any time in the near future.
Mary L. Shaw
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Yes, the economy's slump began under that sorry so-called President Bill Clinton ... you can't blame the economy's slip on a President. If anyone is to blame it would have to be the terrorists, the rip-off artists in huge companies (i.e. Enron, Tyco, Martha Stewart) ... and leftist reporters and media such as Time Magazine.
Wade Spruill
Birmingham, Ala.

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