Two Positive Economic Indicators

According to some, trends such as the number of unemployment applications filed and corporate revenue for shipping companies like FedEx are important economic indicators. Other economist see these trends simply as smaller pieces of a larger puzzle.

If you believe that these two numbers are largely representative of the economy as a whole, then you'll have a Christmas full of hope, reports Forbes. According to the Labor Department, first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week, representing the third decline in four weeks. Obviously this is much better that what we are used to seeing, where the unemployment numbers have been either flat or on the rise.

FedEx, whose finger is on the economic pulse of the world, raised its profit forecast for 2011. The announcement was based on indications that businesses, as well as consumers, are shipping more. The consumer piece is vitally important -- because ultimately, the U.S. economy is driven by consumers.

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