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Having been asked to present a progress report on the Obama Program, I will start off with the positives. That will be short enough to give me adequate time to cover the less favorable aspects.
In the midst of the longest and deepest recession since World War II, the worst seems to be behind us. The United States has weathered the financial crisis. The threat of depression has dissipated. The stirrings of an economic upturn are beginning to become visible, although unemployment remains at best a lagging indicator.
That well-known leading indicator, the stock market, has recovered significantly from its devastating low point. Businesses are beginning to plan for sales growth again. Financial institutions are talking about lending, not just deleveraging. Deflation, often a harbinger of disaster, is no longer a major concern-and inflation isvery low.