The employment numbers for October will not come out until next Friday after Election Day, but there is good national economic news just ahead of the election.
The Washington Post reports U.S. GDP grows at 3.5 percent in third quarter:
The latest gross domestic product figure, released by the Commerce Department, slightly exceeded analyst predictions and caps America’s strongest six-month period of expansion since 2003. It also follows the Federal Reserve decision Wednesday to end its bond-buying program, a sign of confidence that the economy no longer needed its “booster shot” injection.
The United States is still well away from a full-scale recovery, but growth is at least becoming more reliable. In four of the past five quarters, the economy has expanded at a rate of 3.5 percent or greater. Consumption and fixed investment, taken together, is up 2.8 percent over the last year. That figure, which doesn’t include some of the volatile components that influence GDP, is seen as a more reliable barometer of the economy’s trajectory.
GDP growth could dip slightly in the final quarter, but “we believe that the expansion is becoming more and more self- sustaining,” Wells Fargo said in a note to investors.
U.S. officials emphasized that the latest GDP figure, a measure of all goods and services produced, outpaced those of other advanced countries and reflected the country’s improving labor market and growing oil and gas supply.
“Since the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world, and the recent data highlight that the United States is continuing to lead the global recovery,” Jason Furman, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement.
Reuters adds, U.S. consumer sentiment at highest since July 2007:
U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to its highest level since in more than seven years on growing optimism about the economy and more favorable personal financial expectations, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment finished at 86.9, the highest level since July 2007, up from 84.6 at the end of September.
The late October reading was up slightly from its initial figure of 86.4, which was also the expected reading of economists polled by Reuters.
“The gains in confidence over the past three months point toward improved holiday spending by consumers,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.
“Overall, five years after the start of the recovery, consumers have finally begun to adopt the expectations and behaviors that have driven past expansions.”
How will this effect the vote of marginal voters in the election? Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they can answer this question definitively. There are multiple factors that a voter considers, more often than not, no one factor predominates.