No stimulus: Economy’s fate hangs on next few months | Staff Columnists

The issue is getting to that point without the economy backsliding or suffering the kind of enduring damage that could set back recovery for years.

The good news is that as we enter October, the private sector continues to show steady momentum. Last week’s jobs report showed that hours worked by private sector employees accelerated slightly in September from August, and have grown at around 1% sequentially for three consecutive months.

The housing market remains strong, with buyer demand steady and inventories continuing to decline. Rising home prices and an advancing stock market continue to lead to greater household wealth, even with millions of households and small businesses still struggling. Manufacturing surveys point to at least a short-term increase in demand and production as businesses restock inventories that have been depleted the past several months.

And as we saw in August personal income and personal spending data, the personal saving

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