Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wisconsin's economic turnaround only exists in Walker propaganda

Not sure why I missed this in recent weeks, but we have more examples that Governor Walker's attempted theme of "Wisconsin's economy is turning around" is yet another Walker lie.

It's not like we haven't pointed this out in the past few weeks, but I missed another fresh piece of evidence that came out 2 weeks ago- the Philly Fed survey for February. Walker tried to take credit for growth in the January survey, while conveniently leaving out that Wisconsin's was growing at a slower rate than the rest of the Midwest and the U.S. as a whole. And at first glance, it looks like Wisconsin has solid growth in line with the rest of the U.S.

Except that isn't true. Wisconsin barely qualifies for that light green, as they are now exepcted to grow only 1.51 percent in the next 6 months, mmuch lower than the 2.40 percent the Philly Fed projected in January. It also means that Wisconsin is looking at growth that is less than half the rate in the U.S., and the worst growth rate in the Midwest.

Philly Fed forecast growth, Feb. - Aug. 2012
Ind. 3.89%
U.S. 3.25%
Ill. 3.16%
Ohio 2.72%
Mich 2.03%
Minn 1.89%
Iowa 1.87%
Wis. 1.51%

And it's not like we're coming down from robust activity in recent months. The coincident index reflecting Walker's claims of better growth months of December, January, February makes Wisconsin seem pretty sickly and pale compared to the rest of the nation.

Philly Fed coincident index, U.S. and bottom 5 states Dec.2011-Feb.2012
U.S. +1.55%
Haw. +0.51%
Wis. +0.49%
Mass +0.45%
N.Mex +0.27%
Nev. +0.17%

Woo-hoo! We're number 47! Hey, given that we were worst in the lower 48 for the 3 months before that, I suppose you could call that improvement. As long as you still call it unacceptable, of course.

And hey, look! There's another jobs report for Wisconsin out tomorrow. We'll see if the record heat meant a one-time bump in jobs, although the mediocre nationwide report might keep things under wraps a bit. Just to remind you, the Walker jobs gap sat at 58,700 in Feburary, and we need to create another 2,500 just to keep from falling behind further in March. Stay tuned...

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