As the year ends, new jobless claims are down, housing sales are up, retail spending exceeded expectations and the stock market remains strong. “There's no denying that the economy is improving," said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas in New York. It has been at least two and a half years since any of these things could have been said. (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40850565/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy/) Optimism anybody? Oscar Wilde once said that “the basis for optimism is sheer terror”. There’s no denying that the past few years have brought their share of terrifying developments. After the past two or three years of doom and gloom, however, the newest reports, if not a signal that the worst is behind us, are in the very least, a welcomed respite.
By Sam DelPresto