Jaime Fuller

Jaime Fuller is a former associate editor at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Auto Sales on the Rise

Today's Balance Sheet

The Economist
Auto sales were on the upswing in March, thanks to a thirst for fuel-efficient vehicles and the unseasonably warm weather. Automakers sold 1.4 million light vehicles last month, with hybrids and more efficient models leading the way. General Motors sold over 100,000 models that get 30+ miles to the gallon—accounting for almost half of the 231,052 cars sold in March. U.S. sales on Toyota Prius hybrids jumped 54 percent last month to 28,711 cars—a record for the company. Chrysler had the best month of sales it has had in four years —a 34 percent jump from this time last year. If auto sales stay on the same path, the auto industry could end up selling 14.4 million vehicles, a 1.6 million jump from last year. "The wild card going forward seems to be the price of oil, but it hasn't seemed to slow vehicle sales yet," said Thomas Klier, a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economist. "It could be reflective of a more positive sentiment in the economy." The Latest Companies May Finally Be...

The Nightmare Scenario

Flickr/DonkeyHotey
"We won without winning!" So said longshot candidate George Wallace after taking a surprising 34 percent of the vote in the 1964 Wisconsin primary, but it might as well be a prediction of how Rick Santorum will try to frame today's primaries. Mitt Romney is comfortably ahead in Maryland and the District of Columbia (where Santorum isn't even on the ballot), and the front-runner is currently ahead 7.5 percent in Real Clear Politics' average of the polls in Wisconsin. Nate Silver predicts that Santorum will copy Wallace's low-thirties haul, but Rick has passed the point of the primary where he can convincingly claim that as a win. Unless Santorum wins in Wisconsin, it's a big lose for him and a big win for the party elite, which is eager to put a bow on the Romney nomination. If Santorum did manage to squeak out a surprise victory in the Badger State, it would be a big headache for the Grand Old Party, a bigger headache than any of the former senator's previous insubordinate victories...

U.S. Manufacturing, Just Gangbusters

Today's Balance Sheet

The Economist
A new report from the Institute for Supply Management shows that manufacturing employment reached a nine-month high in March, and that the manufacturing sector is on a 32-month growth streak. The steady growth in the United States is a marked contrast from Europe, where manufacturing hit a three-month low last month. The healthy manufacturing numbers released yesterday are further fueling economists' predictions that the March jobs numbers—scheduled to be released Friday—will again top 200,000. "It's been just gangbusters for the last 18 months," said Mike McCarthy, president of Bomco Inc., a maker of metal parts for aerospace and industrial equipment. "Even if it flattened out right now, I still have the demand for the expansion I've planned." But manufacturing alone can't make for a healthy economy. “Manufacturing can continue to lead the recovery, but that’s the production side,” PNC economist Hoffman said . “Clearly if what is produced isn’t bought ... then they can’t continue to...

The Other Wisconsin Primary

(Flickr/isaflcio)
As the 2012 Republican nomination contest peters to a close, each successive primary becomes less exciting than the last. Tomorrow's Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. primaries are no Super Tuesday, and April's slate of races looks to be the most Romney-friendly yet. The contest in Wisconsin is particularly odd because the state's GOP elite is almost unanimously pro-Romney—a consensus that the front-runner has lacked in other bellwether states. The pro-Romney bandwagon is partly due to the fact we're in the primary's coda, but there's a state-specific reason too. The Wisconsin GOP isn't thinking about tomorrow—they're thinking about June 5 and Governor Scott Walker's recall election. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 52 percent of likely voters want to recall Walker, and Republicans in the state are trying not to mimic their presidential candidates' fondness for discord. “The party as a whole is more united behind Scott Walker than it’s been for anything it’s ever done,” said Mark Graul, a...

Unemployment Hits 10.8 Percent in the Eurozone

Today's Balance Sheet

The Washington Post
Eurostat—the European Union's statistics agency—says unemployment in the eurozone went up by 162,000 in February. Total unemployment reached 17.134 million—10.8 percent—after ten straight months of rising, the highest recorded figure since the data began being compiled in January 1995. "We expect it to go higher, to reach 11 percent by the end of the year,” said Raphael Brun-Aguerre, an economist at JPMorgan. “You have public sector job cuts, income going down, weak consumption. The economic growth outlook is negative and is going to worsen unemployment.” Debt crises and austerity programs are most certainly a big factor in the job losses—the countries hit worst by unemployment, like Spain (23.6 percent) and Greece (21 percent in December), are also the ones scrambling to stave off default—and economists are divided on the utility of fighting deficits while so many EU economies are in shambles. Germany's unemployment held steady at 5.7 percent in February, highlighting sharp economic...

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