Obama has been in office for about  ten months. In terms of important economic issues, let’s assess his results so far.

(1) Monthly federal budget deficits have been decreased by one-fourth. For October 2008, the CBO reported a federal budget deficit of $232 billion. The CBO reports the October 2009 deficit at $175 billion, a reduction of 24.6%.

(2) Equity markets have soared by about 59%. After hitting a low in early March just below 6500, the DJIA has risen past 10,300.

(3) Monthly job losses have declined substantially. All through 2008, the net number of jobs shed by the economy grew each month, reaching its worst point in January, when the economy lost more than 700,000 jobs. From that moment forward, the picture has been improving, with net losses shrinking each month to 190,000 in October. Of course, losses are losses, and so this means that total unemployment has continued to rise. But how can we look at Chart 2 in this link and not conclude that the jobs market has been heading in the right direction since early 2009?

(4) Credit markets have resumed functioning in a more or less normal manner; and

(5) The severe recession ended, at least enough for the economy to grow in the third quarter.

 

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