189,000: The number of jobs per month the economy is predicted to generate over the next four months.
125,000: The number of jobs the economy needs to generate to keep up with population growth.
120,000: The number of jobs the economy generated in March.
6: The number of months in a row that home prices dropped through February 2012.
0.5: The percentage increase in national home prices in March, compared with February, according to a report by Zillow. That fraction of a percent represents the largest monthly increase in U.S. home values since May 2006.
33: The percentage of first-time buyers who purchased homes in 2011.
40: The percentage of first-time buyer home purchasers the National Association of Realtors generally considers to be an indicator of a healthy real estate market.
61: The percentage rise in 2012 of permits for the construction of new condominium and apartment buildings.
2.9: The annual pace of increased consumer spending for 2012—based on spending statistics from the first three months of the year.
.6: The percentage by which Americans’ after-tax income rose in the first quarter of 2012—as compared with the first quarter of 2011. (The skimpy pay increase as compared with spending indicates that consumers are feeling confident—but they probably won’t be able to keep up the spending unless incomes grow.)
4: The percentage by which the Dow Jones industrial average has increased since April—beating Wall Street estimates.
$1.7 Trillion: The amount of cash U.S. corporations were sitting on in 2009.
$2.2 Trillion: The amount of cash U.S. corporations currently hold. (Typically, corporations hire and expand when their confidence in the economy matches their spending power.)