I don't know what it is, but in the last four weeks all economic reports seem to be "the best in four years" which is heard as if good economic times are back. The last such number is from the Commerce Department which reported that Housing Starts in September 2012 came in on a rate of 872,000 units. How "good" is it?
*2008 was the worse year for President Bush on housing, yet overall starts came in at 905,500 for the year.
*The September 2012 numbers are worse than 92 of Bush's 96 months in office (including if you count January 2009 as Bush's).
*The rate for the first nine months of 2012 is 745,000; which again is worse than any period under Bush aside from his final few months in office.
The only thing "good" about so many economic numbers under Obama is they are better than when he came into office which is hardly a starting point to measure success since it was a hurricane moment which was bound to pass.