Hopeful sign

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never Is, but always To be blest:

The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

--Alexander Pope, from "An Essay on Man, Epistle I," 1733

We are not out of the woods of economic despair yet, but there is at least one sign that brighter days lie soon ahead.


It came in the form of a when-bad-news-is-good-news report...

According to a Dept. of Commerce report issued today, the economy contracted sharply in the first quarter of this year. But, as pointed out by reporters Jack Healy and Louis Uchitelle in The New York Times, "the numbers suggested that the worst of the recession may be fading as the government’s stimulus filters into the economy."

That's because the gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 6.1% from January through March-- and that is less than the 6.3% shrinkage incurred in last year's fourth quarter.

The newspaper report went on to state that, "Although economists expect the economy to shrink again in the current quarter, they said it would do so at a slower pace and level off in the second half of the year as one of the longest downturns since the 1930’s begins to lift."

This positive development is not enough to shout about, but just having some good news to talk about is enough of a hopeful sign for me right about now.