Dimmer Jobs Picture and Sluggish Home Sales Cast Doubt on Recovery’s Footing…Meanwhile, sellers are holding their homes off the market, which is leaving many housing markets with a shortage of properties for sale at a time when there are more buyers looking. “Buyers have come out early, but sellers haven’t,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co.

Rising layoffs, falling home sales and slowing manufacturing activity are sparking fears that the economic recovery is headed for a springtime stall for the third year in a row. New data Thursday provided fresh evidence that the job market is losing the momentum it built earlier this year, which could pressure fragile housing markets that have been showing signs of life. Separate reports this week suggested that the factory sector, a source of strength in the recovery, now is being hurt by weak growth overseas. However, recent signals have been mixed, with worrisome indicators following positive ones—such as consumer confidence and auto sales—that suggest the recovery remains on track. Economists generally believe total economic output in the first three months of the year grew at a rate a bit above 2%—slower than at the end of 2011 but significantly stronger than the same period a year ago.”It’s been the weakest recovery in the post-World War II period, and that hasn’t changed,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist for investment firm Gluskin Sheff.
By Beb Casselman and Nick Timiraos, April 21, 2012 WSJ

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WSJ: April 21, 2012