Friday, August 27, 2004


Unemployment up, oil prices down.

With economists claiming it couldn't happen, oil prices very nearly crossed the $50 per barrel threshold, only to slink back to the low $40s per barrel after some of the threats to oil production resolved themselves. The peace agreement reached in Najaf ends an oil production threat raised by the Medhi Army.

Alan Greenspan and the Fed are looking quite prophetic in claiming the oil price pressures were temporary and raising a key overnight lending rate by .25% earlier this month. However, they've got some explaining to do when it comes to jobs. New unemployment claims jumped yesterday to 343,000, up sharply from the previous week. Additionally, a new report showed 1.3 million Americans are officially living below the poverty line.

Today's GDP quarterly report came in a tad bit lower than last month's snapshot predicted and shows that 2nd quarter growth was less than 1st quarter. However, it was still growth.

All these figures will contribute to some very interesting claims by both presidential candidates. President Bush can say the economy is growing and he'll be right. John Kerry can say more people are out of work and poor and he'll be right too. Our first glimpse of interesting claims will be next week as the Republican National Convention kicks off on Monday.

This report brought to you by DegreeSource.

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