The economy grew at a solid 3.8 percent annual rate in the final quarter of 2004 — stronger than previously estimated_ and an encouraging sign that the business expansion was firmly entrenched at the start of the new year. [...]On the other hand, other countries are having a little more trouble:
For all of 2004, the economy expanded by 4.4 percent, the best showing in five years. This annual estimate was the same as first reported last month. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, delivering the Fed's economic outlook to Congress last week, struck a fairly positive note about the economy's performance. "All told, the economy seems to have entered 2005 expanding at a reasonably good pace, with inflation and inflation expectations well anchored," he said.
German unemployment rose to a postwar record in February as cold weather caused companies to lay off staff while labor-law changes swelled jobless registers, a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party said.Not to mention:
France said Friday that its jobless rate reached 10 percent in January for the first time in five years...I hope that those jobless aren't all immigrants from the mideast. That could be a seriously unstable situation.