U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement in reaction to a slew of dismal economic news today including inflation, wages, jobless claims, and foreclosures:
"If this administration were competing in the ‘bad economic policy’ Olympics, they'd receive four gold medals today. Inflation jumped for the third straight month, weekly paychecks are smaller, more workers are filing jobless claims, and home foreclosures continue to put more families on the economic edge. It is long past time for this administration to help families and workers compete in a stagnating economic environment -- economic stimulus should be at the top of the agenda before this administration throws in the towel."
The low-lights of today’s economic news:
• Seasonally adjusted, the July Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) shot up at twice the expected rate, rising 0.8 percent. This followed a 1.1 percent increase in June 2008. This is higher than economists expected. This is the fastest year over year increase since 1991.
• While the applications for unemployment benefits dropped to 450,000, down by 10,000 from the previous week, this was a smaller decline than expected. The four-week average for jobless benefits is at the highest level in six years.
• For July 2008, RealtyTrac recorded 272,171 homes received foreclosure notices. This is an 8 percent increase from June 2008 and a 55 percent rise from a year ago. One in every 464 households received a foreclosure notice last month.
• In July 2008 the real average weekly earnings fell by 0.8 percent. Real weekly earnings were down 3.1 percent from July 2007. There was a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings, but it was offset by a 0.3 percent decrease in average weekly hours and a 0.9 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).