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I drove out to look at the new big Super Mall in San Antonio. Wow, things are booming. Money is being spent. That shows that money is available. I read this also "Mark J. Perry: PRO: U.S. booming; everyone getting well



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Mark J. Perry


The economy has been steadily picking up steam since the recession ended in November 2001 and is now finally hitting on all cylinders.


A recent string of positive employment reports indicates the labor market has finally made a strong comeback and the "jobless recovery" has turned into an economic boom.


Real GDP, the broadest measure of the U.S. economy, grew by 5 percent over the last four quarters, the fastest annual rate in 20 years.


The Wall Street Journal consensus of forecasters predicts real GDP growth in 2004 of 4.3 percent and about 4 percent for 2005.


During all economic expansions, it takes the sluggish labor market several years to make a full recovery, and this expansion was no different.


Fortunately, the "jobless recovery" of the last few years has finally been replaced by a strong post-recession employment recovery in 2004.


Since last August, the U.S. economy has created more than a million jobs. The increase in payroll employment in March and April of 625,000 jobs was the largest two-month job increase in four years.


April unemployment is down to 5.6 percent from its peak of 6.3 percent last June and below the 6.25 percent average rate since 1970.


Over the last year, unemployment rates have fallen in 47 states, and more than 10 states now have unemployment rates at or below 4 percent.


And there are 100,000 fewer discouraged workers today than at the same point in the last economic expansion.


The improvements in overall economic conditions are reflected in strong consumer and CEO confidence.


According to the Conference Board, CEO confidence in the U.S. economy is the highest in 20 years.


The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by more than 8 points over the last year, and is currently above its average levels for 2001, 2002 and 2003.


Rising consumer confidence, the strong employment picture and higher wages have sent consumers on a sustained shopping spree this year.


Retail sales increased 12 percent in the first quarter. Strong retail sales are also helping to improve state budget conditions and boost corporate profits:


Twenty-five states are reporting stronger-than-expected sales tax collections for 2004, and corporate income tax receipts are 50 percent above their level this time last year.


Vehicle sales in February, March and April were ahead of sales last year, and new home sales hit a record in March of this year, both sectors being fueled by the lowest interest rate levels since the 1950s.


Housing affordability is the highest in 30 years, helping home ownership hit an all-time high of 69 percent this year. Sales of new homes are booming.


The Index of Leading Economic Indicators, a predictor of the future direction of the economy, has risen by 4.4 percent in the last year, the fastest 12-month increase in 20 years.


Even though some uncertainties exist - the war in Iraq and volatile oil prices - it's hard to find a time in the past 50 years when there was more positive news about the U.S. economy than in recent months.

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yep.your right tq,somebody got to rebuild it,and the family back home be happy,price of timber going straight up too-alot of timberland took a hit from katrina,going to need alot of it for the rebuild and you know what they say about supply and demand-but looking at the reuters report today-blah

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When my family moved to Tanglewood, a subdivision off De Zavala Road about a mile west of IH10 back in 1989, the only thing in this whole part of the city was the Post Office, one small strip center, a 7-11 and a bunch of pasture land, cactus, snakes, etc. There was nothing at the intersection of De Zavala and IH10, nothing at the UTSA Boulevard exit and nothing at the intersection of Loop 1604 and IH10. Someone was mining in the quarry just north of IH10 (where the new super mall is going in) and there was a large abandoned the quarry across IH10 (now Fiesta Texas).


Very peaceful. Almost like living in the country.


We used to sneer that the city planners made De Zavala a four lane road since many times we were the only car on the road at any given time.


Now we can't even get out of our sub-division to get onto De Zavala and it is not uncommon to wait at any of many non-synchronized traffic lights on De Zavala for 2, 3, 4, or more, light cycles due to massive gridlock. And De Zavala Road now holds the distinction of having one of the highest accident rates in San Antonio.


Yes, this part of town is booming. Just try and purchase some land anywhere near either Loop 1604 or IH10 until you get to Boerne.


We went to the new La Cantera shopping mall today (grand opening of Foley's) and could not find a parking spot! It looked like Christmas time at Ingram Park Mall. Packed! And many of the other stores in that mall were not even open for business yet.


Nick Holt

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