Finally, lots of data point to a significantly improving U.S. economy

I'm late getting around to noticing this, but a Business Insider article from October 17 shows a series of graphs all pointing to a rapidly improving economy at the consumer level.

All the usual caveats apply, of course, starting with the standard reminder that past performance is no guarantee of future success and that the economy is far from where it would be had we not dived into a the deepest recession since the 1930s back in 2008. But at least given the numbers available in mid-October, new housing starts are rapidly increasing, retail and auto sales are up, both federal and Gallup data show unemployment falling, at least two independent measures of consumer confidence are rising, and so on. And I've encountered other, more recent positive reports.

Incidentally, many of the graphs are taken from FRED, which stands for Federal Reserve Economic Data, an excellent free online service of the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve. FRED lets you create comparison graphs of different economic data series or download those series to your computer to do your own analyses. There are some 61,000 series offered from 47 sources, enough to keep one occupied on a rainy day.

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