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Jobs and Economic Report

January 15, 2010 – 1:44 pm

The economic news this week was of little consequence. Unemployment claims increased by 11,000 but the four week average is still falling and falling sharply. There is a question out there that job growth could rebound faster than expected, and of course the massive government spending which will gain traction this year can only help. Actual growth of jobs has not shown up. Job creation is going to be very important over the next few months both from an economic point of view and its effect on stock prices. I would be surprised if it is anything but a struggle to produce jobs.

Retail sales for December were down .3% as reported on Thursday. November’s number was revised up. I think this is a result of poor employment. If we have 10% of our people out of work they are not going to spend. It’s not hard to figure that out. The interesting retail sales number is the year over year comparison. Last year we were in the middle of the banking crisis in December. We are not this year. The increase in spending from a year ago is 5.4%. I think that is a decent recovery in light of the fact that there were a lot more people working a year ago than today.

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