Re: Is the economy really strong?
My totally novice assessment.
Oil/energy has finally relaxed a bit, so the Dow is trading at record levels.
In my industry, which is a leading indicator of consumer goods, we are predicted to be running at our current, VERY high rate until at least 09. Our problems tend to be factory capacity can't keep up more than finding orders.
Industry has finally opened up their purse strings and is spending lots of money on capital expenditures (equipment, computers, etc etc), which they hadn't been doing from 9/11 until about 04-05.
This party isn't silly fake growth like the dot com bust. This is generally solid good stuff, in a tangible manufacturing sense.
The silly mortgage crap that has been going on, and the resultant real estate bubble is quite worrying, and Bush's spending habits, which mirror Paris with her Platinum on Rodeo, are eventually going to have to all be atoned for.
As long as industry hangs in there, even defaults on mortgages won't be a big deal. Well, it's a big deal for the poor bastard that gets evicted, but even on this site, there are tons of vultures with some cash, or credit waiting to swoop in on a good buy like that. If the economy goes bust and layoffs start happening, along with the out of whack housing/loan situation...watch out.