Today, President Obama made a pitch for Congress to extend emergency unemployment insurance payments. Tuesday, the Senate will consider the issue once more. Whatever the ideological differences, Gallup underemployment data suggest immediate action is essential -- far too many Americans are looking for a full-time job for Congress to deny this minimal expansion of the social safety net.
Wednesday and Thursday Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will update the Fed's view of the economy. Based on Gallup's economic confidence and spending data, it seems obvious that Bernanke will suggest that the economy is progressing more slowly than the Fed had hoped earlier this year.
Finally, there is likely to be a lot of global attention focused on Friday's European bank stress tests. Gallup's monitoring of the U.S. stress tests showed they were surprisingly effective. Whether the experience in Europe will do likewise is still an open question with global financial consequences. Labels: consumer confidence, economic confidence, European Union, underemployment, unemployment, unemployment benefits