Some good news in Ben Bernanke’s testimony today:
On the positive side, household debt burdens are declining, delinquency rates on credit card and auto loans are down significantly, and the number of homeowners missing a mortgage payment for the first time is decreasing.
Continuing on the brighter side:
Two bright spots in the recovery have been exports and business investment in equipment and software. Demand for U.S.-made capital goods from both domestic and foreign firms has supported manufacturing production throughout the recovery thus far. Both equipment and software outlays and exports increased solidly in the first quarter, and the data on new orders received by U.S. producers suggest that the trend continued in recent months. Corporate profits have been strong, and larger nonfinancial corporations with access to capital markets have been able to refinance existing debt and lock in funding at lower yields. Borrowing conditions for businesses generally have continued to ease, although, as mentioned, the availability of credit appears to remain relatively limited for some small firms.