Economic Recession & Recovery
<p>Economic reports show that U.S. factory orders unexpectedly rose in the month of October, according to the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/04/AR200912... Press</a>. Economists worry that economic recovery could be hindered by a continued increase in unemployment rates and decrease in disposable income.
<p>The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in November for the fourth month in a row, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Economy/idUSTRE5B03CA20091201">Reuter... points out today. However, the growth has slowed down slightly from October:</p>
<p><em>From the Associated Press:</em></p>
<p>WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose in September as the biggest jump in demand for machinery in 18 months offset weakness in commercial aircraft and autos.</p>
<p>The Associated Press published <a href="http://www.abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=8586785">an article</a> yesterday about the gains in industrial production seen in August, yet another sign of the road to recovery. Here's one snippet:</p>
<p>American manufacturing facilities are expanding production for the first time in over a year and a half, according to the <a href="http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm">Institute for Supply Management</a><a href="http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm"> (ISM)</a>. The ISM's manufacturing index broke 50 for the first time since January 2008, coming in at 52.9.<br />
<p><em>From <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE57H56R20090818">Reuters</a...
<p>General Motors Co said on Tuesday it is increasing production for the second half of 2009 after a surge in sales ignited by the U.S. government's "Cash for Clunkers" incentives program.</p>
<p>The Federal Reserve reported today that industrial production increased 0.5% in July, the <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090814/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/us_industrial_prod... month in the positive</a> realm in 9 months.
<p><a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090723/bs_nm/us3m_2">3M reports </a>better than expected earnings for the quarter. <a href="http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/07/23/am_unemploymen... Radio</em> </a>also suggests that the manufacturing sector is likely to come back quickly. We need to be watchful.</p>
<p>While the manufacturing sector remains depressed, promising signs continue to emerge that we may be seeing the beginning of a turn around. The most recent sign is that the Commerce Department's <a href="http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/m3/">report of May durable good orders</a> shows promise in some areas. Orders rose 1.8 percent in May -- the second month in a row suggesting a positive trend.<br />
<p>The <a href="http://www.ism.ws/">Institute for Supply Management's</a> <em>May 2009 Manufacturing Report on Business</em> reports that their index increased to 42.8 — its highest level since September — compared with 40.1 in March. While a reading below 50 still indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, new orders increased 3.9%, moving from contraction in April to growing in May. Inventories continued a 37-month contraction trend.<br />