All the positive signs notwithstanding, thoughts that the slowly recovering economy is still a ways away from full health have begun to creep back into the minds of financial analysts and Bush administration officials, USA Today reports.

For the third straight year, seemingly strong indicators – this time rising sales, growing profits, higher volume in the investment sector and a rallying stock market – have combined to create a consensus that the bull market that dominated the Clinton era will return. The last two years, though, it didn’t happen.

The jobless rate has plunged 26 of the last 32 months, and 40% of the jobless haven’t worked for 15 weeks.

Economist Sung Won Sohn of Wells Fargo, while predicting that there would be more jobs by next year, said he couldn’t be sure.

"The relationship between economic growth and employment seems to have broken down," Sohn told USA Today.

Everything has been put into place. The Federal Reserve, in its continuing effort to supercharge the economy, has lowered short-term interest rates to a 45-year low, while the Bush administration has cut taxes by $2 trillion to try and drive up sales. But uncertainty reigns, as the federal deficit grows.


The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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