Rachel Maddow points out that Mitt Romney, who harped and harped about the economy for three months -- with a really dreary consistency -- changed his stump speech earlier this month to base issues, social issues, abortagay issues. Maybe that's because the Romney campaign detected, before the Washington Post even headlined it, that the economy seems to be improving.
The long-moribund housing market has bustled to life, with prices and new-home construction rising in recent weeks. Hiring, so weak earlier this year, picked up last month. And on Thursday, the government reported an acceleration of a downward trend in the number of people seeking unemployment insurance, as well as a sharp improvement in U.S. exports.
Together, the signs point to an improving economy, a potentially important shift for President Obama’s re-election campaign. ...WaPo
The Republicans will do whatever they can, using whatever tools they still have, to spike this optimistic outlook. And nothing, of course, is certain. But the numbers look good.
“The national psyche remains on edge, and the economy remains vulnerable to anything else that may go wrong,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.
Yet the latest data suggest that Obama has several reasons to be somewhat optimistic.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said that the number of people who were newly filing for unemployment insurance dropped to 361,000.
That was better than expected and continued a downward trend. Last week, the agency reported that companies took on more workers in July, as 163,000 Americans gained employment. ...WaPo
Think of what that means in human terms, not just about the boost it gives the Obama campaign. Thousands of people saying "got a job, finally!"