This is really the big story of the moment: The full-on comeback in everything related to consumers and households.
Let’s just break it down really fast.
1. New housing starts are shooting straight up … 2. Retail sales growth: Re-accelerating …. 3. The Unemployment Rate: Collapsing (according to the government) …. 4. And the unemployment rate is collapsing according to Gallup …. 5. And car sales are surging …. 6. Revolving Consumer Credit. Back to growth …. 7. Gallup Economic Confidence is the best since May …. 8. Consumer discretionary stocks surging towards all-time highs …. 9. Homebuilder stocks highest since 2007 …. 10. Wal-Mart has finally busted out, and surged past its 2000 high …. 11. Even more impressive: Home Depot! Surging to multi-year highs …. 12. University of Michigan Consumer Confidence hits a 5-year high …. 13. Restaurant owners are saw a recent spike up in their outlook (they’re a great measure of consumer discretionary spending …. 14. Case-Shiller home prices are clearly on the rise.
Reuters: Groundbreaking on new homes surged in September to its fastest pace in more than four years, a sign the housing sector’s budding recovery is gaining traction and supporting the wider economic recovery.
Housing starts increased 15 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units, beating even the most optimistic forecasts on Wall Street, Commerce Department data showed on Wednesday.
It was the quickest pace of groundbreaking since July 2008…
Steve Benen: For all the Romney/Ryan efforts to convince Americans the economy is getting worse, reality stubbornly keeps getting in the way…
Groundbreaking on new homes surged in September to its fastest pace in more than four years, a sign the housing sector’s budding recovery is gaining traction and supporting the wider economic recovery…..
…. The unemployment rate is at its best point in four years; consumer confidence is at its best point in five years; the federal budget deficit is at its best point in four years. Just this week, reports on retail sales, industrial production, and new housing construction showed sharp and unexpected improvements.
This probably isn’t what Republicans wanted to hear…..
10:35: President Obama departs the White House en route Woodbridge, Va.
11:05: Arrives in Woodbridge, Va.
11:30: Delivers remarks via satellite at the AARP Life@50+ National Event & Expo at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge
12:45: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge (C-Span)
1:30: VP Biden and Jill Biden travel to Hanover, N.H., to deliver remarks at a campaign event at Dartmouth College
2:30: President Obama arrives at the White House
3:0 First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at Morgan State University, Baltimore (need to check the time on this)
5:15: VP Biden and Jill Biden travel to Concord, N.H., to deliver remarks at a campaign event at the New Hampshire State House
Washington Post: The last of the 33,000 “surge” troops President Obama ordered to Afghanistan in December 2009 have left the country, the Pentagon announced Friday, just ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline.
The number of U.S. troops in the war zone now stands at 68,000, Secretary of State Leon E. Panetta told reporters traveling with him during a week-long visit to the Asia-Pacific region. The troop count is down from a peak of 101,000 U.S. forces last year and marks the end of a critical phase in Obama’s war strategy.
…. The drawdown of U.S. forces is in keeping with Obama’s timetable to pull out all conventional combat forces by the end of 2014…
USA Today: Medicare beneficiaries have saved a total of about $4.5 billion on prescription medications because of the 2010 health care law since January 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services plans to announce today.
“We’re seeing consistent, steady savings for seniors thanks to the health care law,” said Jon Blum, director of the Center for Medicare. “In just 21/2 half years, seniors have seen billions in savings, and those savings will continue to grow as the doughnut hole is fully closed.”
Washington Post: In 3 1/2 years in office, President Obama has set in motion a broad overhaul of public education from kindergarten through high school, largely bypassing Congress and inducing states to adopt landmark changes that none of his predecessors attempted.
He awarded billions of dollars in stimulus funding to states that agreed to promote charter schools, use student test scores to evaluate teachers and embrace other administration-backed policies. And he has effectively rewritten No Child Left Behind, the federal law passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, by excusing states from its requirements if they adopt his measures.
LA Times: Nationwide home prices shot up 3.8% in July, making their largest year-over-year leap since 2006…. The gain marks the fifth straight rise in the gauge, part of a positive swing following a year and a half of slumps. The last time prices rose so much was in August 2006, when they jumped 4.1%.
Prices in California bounded up 4.4%. Without distressed sales – including foreclosures and short sales – national prices were up 4.3% compared with last July.
The report, coming as a glut of house-hunters clamor after a shrinking inventory, suggests that the real estate market is “clearly seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi in a statement.
Msg from The Obama Diary: Genuine bloggers who create their own posts are welcome to use anything from TOD – rebloggers, who only copy others in an attempt to up their traffic, are not. Like the reblogger who treats women like this – explicit – while copying TOD posts on women’s rights. He belongs in the GOP.
President Obama arrives back at the White House, August 29
Thank you Sosena ;-)
Washington Post: President Obama used some of his toughest language yet against rival Mitt Romney today, accusing the Republican’s campaign of bragging that “we will not let the truth get in the way.”
Speaking to an outdoor crowd of 7,500 in downtown Charlottesville, Obama said Romney and his campaign have not told the truth in TV ads accusing the president of ending the work requirement in landmark welfare reform legislation that was passed in the 1990s.
“Somebody was challenging one of their ads,” Obama said. “They just they made it up about work and welfare. And every outlet said this was just not true. They were asked about it, and a campaign person said, we won’t have the fact checkers dictate our campaign plan. We will not let the truth get in the way.”