]Recovery hopes dim a bit on latest economic reports. Dim a bit is a tremendous understatement. The headlines and brief stories below show the economic reports that have come out in the last week. Not one economic news item shows any real positive numbers for the economy. Everything is NEGATIVE!!! Recovery hopes dim a bit on latest economic reports 12:50 PM, June 15, 2009 LA Times Some economic green shoots are showing signs of wilting, giving Wall Street an excuse to take profits from the spring stock market surge. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ A Federal Reserve index of manufacturing activity in the New York region showed a decline this month from May levels, the Fed said today. The index came in at minus 9.41, compared with minus 4.55 in May. The trend had been improving in April and May, after a horrendous reading of minus 38.23 in March. A reading below zero indicates manufacturing in the region is contracting. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Jun 16, 2009, 9:15 a.m. EST Industrial production slumps 1.1% in May WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. industrial output tumbled 1.1% in May, led by big drops in motor vehicles, mining and high-technology products, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. The decrease was a bit worse than forecasts of a 1% drop, particularly after April's output was revised lower to a decrease of 0.7% from 0.5% reported earlier. Output is down 13.4% in the past year, the largest year-over-year decline since 1946. Output has fallen in 16 of the past 17 months since the recession began in December 2007. Since that month, industrial output is down 14.8%. Capacity utilization in industry fell to a record-low 68.3%. In manufacturing alone, capacity utilization fell to a record-low 65%. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Jobless benefit rolls drop sharply to nearly 6.7M WASHINGTON (AP) The total number of people on the unemployment insurance rolls dropped for the first time since early January, the government said Thursday, while new claims for benefits jumped to 608,000. The only problem with this report is that most of the people supposedly NOT collecting benefits fell off of the benefits program because they ran out of benefits or extended benefits. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The Philadelphia Fed said East Coast manufacturing and production firms reported improved numbers for June in terms of new orders, production activity and shipments. LA Times The manufacturers surveyed by the Philly Fed did, however, report continued cuts in jobs and work hours. The U.S. manufacturing industry ranging from automakers in the Rust Belt, to electronics and aviation firms in Western states such as Arizona have been pinched by the pullback in business and consumer spending, the credit crunch and reeling real estate markets. The Philly Feds manufacturing index came in at minus 2.2 Negative numbers show that the economy is contracting. In this case it is contracting at 2.2, but nobody really knows what that means. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ If you think we have problems, Europe just reported that their Industrial Production decreased 27% last month. That was greater than anything in the Great Depression.