From the "no kidding, Sherlock" WashPost: "New Economic Reports Show We're Still Hurting"
The fragile economic recovery has relied heavily on government stimulus spending, but new data show that as the money runs out, a sustained rebound may be elusive.And in case you missed it: "Stimulus spending doesn't work." Stand by for unemployment numbers tomorrow; Joe Biden will be out later to explain all the jobs "saved."
The dramatic decline in sales reported Thursday by the Big Three automakers suggested the extent to which the stimulus act has propped up the economy. The government's wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program drove consumer spending to its highest level in eight years in August. But after it ended, so did the growth in auto sales.
General Motors' sales plunged 36 percent in September compared with August. Ford plummeted 37 percent. Chrysler dove 33 percent.
Cash for Clunkers "was a one-time boost of sales followed by a crater," said Ben Herzon, an economist at Macroeconomic Advisers. The firm forecast that the program was likely to have no effect as a stimulant for national economic output.