Growth was very good in the third quarter. We really suspect that the last two reports greatly understated the underlying strength of the labor market.
Excluding autos, spending growth looks healthy -- not a blockbuster holiday season, but far better than it appeared a couple of months ago when gasoline prices were over 3 per gallon.
It is possible that the hurricanes that hit in August and September had a bigger impact on measured GDP growth in the fourth quarter than in the third. ... The hurricanes probably dragged on investment, too.
Companies have reached the limits of what they can do with their work forces. They have to hire more workers.
It's interesting because the economy is growing in real terms, so you would expect to see the markets frequently posting all-time highs, because the trend is (naturally) up.
For a long time we've been looking for consumer spending to slow down, ... It's a question whether this is a trigger for a broader slowdown in consumer spending and the housing market.
We believe the numbers today are confirming our view that growth will be soft throughout the rest of the year.
With consumers likely to return to the malls from the auto showrooms, spending in other areas will pick up again, especially once cooler weather arrives to give a boost to fall clothing,
The bottom line is that the job market carried good momentum and the economy can weather the temporary hit from the hurricanes.
This latest report is unmistakable evidence of an improving economy. What you have to look for is evidence that the fourth-quarter slowdown in economic growth will continue. And this jobs report is evidence that just the opposite is happening.
Energy prices were rising before Katrina hit, and while those costs didn't make their way through to finished goods in August, we have to expect higher core inflation in coming months. Firms are saying that they've absorbed so much already that they have to pass on these costs.
We are now at the point where Hurricane Katrina's effects are adding to job creation rather than detracting from it.
These figures suggest that growth is stable but not extremely strong. These figures should add to the conviction in financial markets that the Fed will soon be able to stop raising rates.
There is a risk that we will push up above 2 percent, not necessarily over the next month but sometime over the next few months. That will be a concern to the Fed.