Weekly Wrap: The sluggish U.S. economy

Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and Cardiff Garcia of the blog FT Alphaville wrap up this week's biggest business stories.

On the consumer sentiment survey today from the University of Michigan that says we're actually feeling better about things, even if the economy itself sometimes feels sluggish:

Cardiff Garcia: There's a difference between getting better and getting good. We're still far from having the kind of vibrant, healthy economy we wish to have. But at the same time, just a few months ago, there were some very real concerns that the U.S. might dip back into recession. It turned out those fears were way overblown, and yeah, things have been getting better lately. I think there are some encouraging signs that they'll keep getting better. Doesn't mean they're going to be great anytime soon, but better.

Sudeep Reddy: The fundamentals of the economy still aren't that solid. In part, it's just that we've lowered our expectations so much. In the U.S., we're still barely treading water when it comes to jobs; growth is fairly anemic; and the unemployment rate isn't really moving that much. So you can't say that we've come out of very much -- at least we haven't gotten worse, which is maybe a good thing.

For more analysis, listen to the full audio.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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