The Grandparents were out Buying for Easter, nothing new and no carryover effect. Labor unit costs were up 2.5%, actually a good thing except it was mainly transfers from one Corporate sector to another Corporate sector with expected gains in Health Care Costs, Insurance premiums, etc.; they should try an real Wage raise. Good Report on a Productivity increase, though the data states it only comes from appreciable Downsizing--note the increase in Unemployment Claims with a upward revision on last Month's numbers. There are the Gasoline stocks numbers with correspondent reduction of Oil price to less than $70/barrel. This coming from a constriction of Consumer Driving--it does not bode well for the Tourist season. A flat Tourist season is a normal highlight of a Recession, but no undue worry as yet; a healthy Economy can endure a flat season.
Wonder of wonders, this Author has heard rumors that even the Bush administration is trying to curtail the outflow of Cash to Government contracts. It is the only bright sign on the economic horizon. The Generals might not get their Toys as quickly, and Pork infrastructure Payments may be delayed. The Stock Market may not be as happy the next Quarter, and this Author thinks they may have been too happy for too long. The high Percentage Profits could be a trifle large, considering the largesse of Capital assets involved; it is a lot of Money to pull out of the Economy for Corporate Executives and Stockholders. lgl