The U.S. Commerce Department announced figures May 15 that likely will provide a bit of relief for those earning an online doctorate degree in business.
Businesses continued to increase their inventories in March, boosting them by 0.3 percent. That increase is the smallest since November, but business sales also rose in March - by 0.6 percent - showing that the economy is still improving, slowly but surely. The slight increase in inventories is evidence that businesses are cautiously optimistic that there will be a demand for their products.
“What we’re seeing is more or less trying to keep pace with final demand,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Connecticut, said to Businessweek. “I don’t think that firms have built up inventories involuntarily.”
In the first three months of 2012, the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, which is down from the 3 percent growth in October to December, but better than 2011's rate of 1.7 percent, according to The Associated Press.
However, those with a doctorate degree may still be wary about the economy in months to come. Its performance even could influence the 2012 presidential election, which may be a good thing for President Barack Obama, as a new USA Today/Gallup poll showed two-thirds of Americans are optimistic that their finances will be better next year than they are this year. Seventy-one percent of respondents said that current economic conditions are poor, but 58 percent believe they will be good in 2013.
"We're right back where we've been all along: The economy is a major issue, and it's one which neither candidate has a serious advantage on," said Gary Jacobson, a political scientist at a California university. "Romney gets better ratings because of his reputation as a CEO, and Obama is going to benefit from the fact that optimism is increasing. … But it looks like it's extremely close."