11 Signs That "Recovery Summer" Will Be Obama's "Mission Accomplished"

barack obama aircraft missions accomplished

This was supposed to be a summer of recovery.

In fact, The White House even branded it “Recovery Summer.”

But with the summer officially over, we now know that there wasn’t much of a recovery at all, and the whole branding of it may go down as Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.

Domestic vehicle sales -- STALLED

June: 11.1 million sold

August: 11.4 million sold

Details: Total sales are stalled. Domestic sales are dropping, posting the worst August in 27 years. Cash For Clunkers is looking more and more like a miss.

Factory orders -- STALLED

May: $412 billion total orders

July: $410 billion total orders

Details: Not counting aircrafts, July data would mark a 1.5% drop, the worst in 16 months. After leading the recovery for months, manufacturing is stalling and starting to contract.

Retail Sales -- STALLED

May: $362 billion

July: $363 billion

Details: A 0.4% rebound in July makes up ground from a 0.3% loss in June, but no one's forgetting the big 0.5% drop in May.

Housing starts -- STALLED

May: 588,000

July: 546,000

Details: 1.7% gains in July marked a modest recovery. But single family housing starts fell 4.3% -- a negative indicator for home prices.

New home sales -- GETTING WORSE

May: 281,000

July: 276,000

Details: Demand hit an all-time low in July. Average months of supply also climbed for the month. These numbers suggest residential investment will be a drag on GDP for Q3.

Consumer sentiment -- STALLED

Consumer Sentiment Index June: 76

Consumer Sentiment Index August: 70

Consumer Board Index June: 54

Consumer Board Index August: 53

Details: Consumer sentiment dropped in June and July on bad economic news. Negative sentiment slowed or reversed in August.

Job creation -- STALLED

June: -125,000 non-farm payroll

August: -54,000 non-farm payroll

Details: The August jobs report actually helped the market, as the private sector created 67,000 jobs. Job loss was less than expected following the census surge. Overall it's a mixed picture.

Unemployment -- STALLED

June: 9.5%

August: 9.6%

Details: With the census surge come and gone, unemployment is stuck at 9.6%. It's hard to say what how encouraged and discouraged workers are affecting the number.

Manufacturing index -- IMPROVING

May PMI: 59.7

August PMI: 56.3

Details: August showed a stellar improvement in the ISM manufacturing index, up to 56.3 from 55.5, when analysts expected a fall to 53.0.

ISM Non-manufacturing index -- ROLLING OVER

June: 53.8%

August: 51.5%

Details: This measure of the service industry hit its lowest level since January.

Stock market -- IMPROVING

June 1: 10,024

Sept. 7 (open): 10,320

Details: The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 3% since Memorial Day. Big gains in July melted away in August, before closing the summer with a surge.

Now as for how we're doing right now...

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