Recovery remains firmly on track as revealed by the government’s first of three estimates on the growth of US Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of this year. While a little below expectations, the 3.2% gain is solid and continues on the heels of a 5.6% pace set in the fourth quarter. The six months together comprise the strongest advance since 2003.

For three weeks running the Dow has traded between 10,200 and 10,400. This week’s news was mostly positive with the Federal Reserve trimming its forecast for the jobless rate, home re-sales and new home sales rising, and consumer spending climbing more than forecast.

The broad US economy continues to find ways to grow despite mounting hurdles. Government reports this week of increases in GDP, exports, personal incomes, and new houses sold all defied economists’ estimates. Gains in some cases were significant, while others were increases on a declining scale.

The economy’s growth is slowing across the board; jobs, consumer spending, retail sales, inflation, and manufacturing. Today’s jobs report shows that employers added 92,000 workers to payrolls in July, which was fewer than expected and fewer than June’s 126,000 gain. The slowdown reflects the first decline since January 2006. The jobless rate rose to 4.6% also for the first time since January 2006. Workers' average hourly earnings rose 6 cents, or 0.3%, in line with forecasts, after a 0.4 % increase in each of the previous two months.