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More good news about the economy:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a near four-year low, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining steam.

Other government data on Thursday also pointed to sustained momentum in the economy, with builders breaking more ground on new residential projects in January and little signs of a pick-up in inflation pressures.

snip

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest level since March 2008.

Reuters

This should translate into further good jobs numbers and drops in the unemployment rate:

"If this trend continues, one would have to believe, given previous relationships, that the monthly employment report will begin printing 200K plus job additions on a regular basis," Dan Greenhaug, BTIG chief global strategist, wrote in a note.

Should that prediction ring true, Obama could expect to see unemployment drop below 8% -- a threshold highlighted often by his potential Republican opponents.

http://www.thestreet.com/...

And consumer confidence is up:

Consumer confidence in the U.S. increased for a fourth straight week to reach the highest level in a year as more households believe the economy is improving.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 39.8 in the period ended Feb. 14 from minus 41.7 the previous week. It marked just the third time since April 2008 that the gauge has climbed above minus 40, a reading consistent with recessions or their aftermath. The monthly expectations gauge climbed to minus 7 in February, also a 12-month high.

http://www.bloomberg.com/...

President Obama yesterday:

"Manufacturing is coming back," Obama said. "The economy is getting stronger."
Bloomberg Business Week: Obama promotes manufacturing at Wisconsin plant

And the President's poll ratings keep going up.  2012 may be much more like 2008 than 2010.  

There's still much to do, but the trend is good.

Originally posted to TomP on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Good News and I Vote for Democrats.

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