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Economic Outlook


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Friday, May 28, 2010

Ripley plant expansion could add 200 jobs: For the second time in a week, a Northeast Mississippi furniture manufacturer has announced expansion plans.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Around the Region: Unemployment down to 10.7%:The state Department of Employment Security says Mississippi's unemployment rate was 10.7 percent in April.

Local builders busier: Building may not be booming, but it's far from a bust.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CBO's Estimates of ARRA's Impact: Looking at recorded spending to date as well as estimates of the other effects of ARRA on spending and revenues, CBO has estimated the law's impact on employment and economic output using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies on the economy and using various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy. On that basis, CBO estimates that in the first quarter of calendar year 2010, ARRA's policies:

* Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.2 percent,
* Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points,
* Increased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million, and
* Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.8 million to 4.1 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

From the National Association of Manufacturer's: Housing starts rose a solid 5.8 percent in April, the third increase in the past four months. After falling to an all-time low in March, housing completions, which typically lag starts by close to a year, rose 19.2 percent last month, the fastest monthly pace since August 1983.

The homebuyer tax credit, which expired at the end of April, has spurred construction activity recently and will likely have some positive impact in the upcoming months. However, the fact that new permits fell to the lowest level in six months in April shows that the housing recovery is still swimming upstream, due in part to the continued high number of distressed properties on the market.

Southern Motion to add 200 jobs in Pontotoc: Although the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi laid off about 1,000 workers last year, companies have picked up their hiring in recent months

Economists More Optimistic on Economy: Economists forecast the pace of U.S. growth to pick up in the year ahead as consumers and businesses alike accelerate spending, according to a new survey.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fiberglass plant adds 30 jobs in Olive Branch. Guardian Fiberglass Inc. announced Thursday it is expanding operations at its Olive Branch facility, creating 30 new jobs.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Record growth among entrepeneurs in U.S. More entrepreneurs launched new businesses in 2009 than at any other time in the past 14 years, according to a study released Thursday.

Fed expects GDP to expand, unemployment rate to fall this year. Just as a deepening debt crisis in Europe threatens the world economy, the U.S. recovery is finally starting to gain traction, leading Federal Reserve officials and private analysts to upgrade their expectations for growth.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly claims increase: In the week ending May 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 471,000, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 446,000. The 4-week moving average was 453,500, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 450,500.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production has increased a cumulative 6.8% during the past 10 months, the largest 10-month gain since 1997. Total industrial production increased 0.8% in April. Together with last month's jobs report, this suggests a strong start to output for the second quarter. The increase, slightly above market expectations, was led by a strong 1.0% growth in manufacturing output.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Report: State has lowest credit card debt. Despite the recession, Mississippians have managed to keep their credit card debt in check -- at least compared to the rest of the nation. The state had the least amount of credit card debt in April.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

State's foreclosure rate plummets. Foreclosure actions against Mississippi homeowners fell 29 percent from March to April.

Jobless Claims Fall Slightly. The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell slightly for a fourth consecutive time last week as the labor market slowly continues to improve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950. Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today we received encouraging news. The economy created 290,000 jobs last month -- 231,000 of them in the private sector. This is the largest number of new jobs in four years and the fourth consecutive month of job growth.

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