Dare . . . We . . . Hope?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 3, 2009

I’d really like to believe the implications of this story:

New signs that the recession could be nearing a bottom emerged Thursday, as factory orders were far better than expected and the Dow industrials surged over 8,000 for the first time in two months.

The Commerce Department said orders for manufactured goods rose 1.8 percent in February, reversing six straight monthly declines and easily beating estimates of another drop. Other economic indicators came in better than expected Wednesday, including construction spending and pending home sales.

Meanwhile, world leaders meeting in London on Thursday pledged $1.1 trillion to global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund to combat the downturn. And the European Central Bank agreed to cut a key interest rate to a record low of 1.25 percent.

The job situation is still grim, but it is going to be until the recovery gets underway. One thing that is worth noting is whether the economy picks up well before stimulus projects get shovel-ready. If so–and I suspect that it will–then the pundit class had better prepare itself to beat back Obama Administration claims that it helped bring the recession to an end thanks to its stimulus package, or claims that the G20 summit itself constitutes some kind of “turning point” without which the world would come to financial ruin.

At least, this will happen if the pundit class wants to retain some self-respect.

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