The new numbers suggest that our recession is receding.
New home sales (June) +11%
Home prices (June) +0.5%
Durable goods sales (June) +1.1%
New jobless claims (four week avg) – 1.5%
GDP growth in 2nd Q -1% (down but not as much as many economists had expected)
Dow Jones (July) +8%
Yet the one measure that has some commentators worried is that "consumers are scared," to quote George Stephanopoulos. Households are spending at a lower rate than before the recession. This, to me, is the best news of all.
I'm not sure why we'd want to return to a household savings rate of zero. If we pull out of this recession by some means other than unsustainable consumption, we might just fix a problem much bigger than a few quarters of economic contraction.