And I’m as big an optimist as anyone so I’d like to believe it.  The Federal Reserve surveyed businesses around the US and “found economic activity stabilizing or improving in most regions.”  However, this growth is dependent upon consumer spending and people can’t spend money when they’re not working.

I have been saying for the past few months that until we see employment numbers rising, the economy will not have turned around.  People without jobs cannot spend money, and as long as the US economy is fueled by spending we will remain in the recession.  Much of the spending that fueled the boom in the Pluto in Sagittarius era (1995 through 2008) came from borrowed money, and that money had dissolved into thin air.

The Fed’s survey found a pickup in the demand for temporary workers, which could presage the hiring of permanent workers. Saturn will enter Libra at the end of October, leaving the sign of Virgo which is the sign that regulates work and the work environment, as well as health and other issues that have been under stress for the past couple of years.  However, Saturn will immediately form a square to Pluto which is rarely a happy combination.  Saturn gives us a reality check and Pluto forces confrontation in any area where things are not working well, so that could be a big wake-up call in areas of the economy that are fueled by speculation and optimism alone.

The Saturn/Pluto square will peak in November and then again in February, making this period a challenging economic one.  However, a sextile from Jupiter (good fortune) to Pluto (transformation) in February will soften the blow and encourage a sense of expansion.  However, February also marks the final exact conjunction of Chiron and Neptune which will urge us to operate from the level of soul, and not from the pocketbook.  This combination of planetary influences could be what’s needed to make permanent changes that will serve us in the long run.

It appears to me that March and April will be easier and offer some economic relief.  However, the old ways of doing things are over and they will never come back.  This is still a time for sensible money management (with Pluto in pragmatic Capricorn and Saturn retrograding back in sensible Virgo from April through July).  Building a solid foundation now will ensure that we are able to hold on when things get rocky in 2012-2013 with the square of Uranus to Pluto.

Our economy has become dependent on the spending habits of Americans, but these spending habits have resulted in bankruptcies and foreclosures.  Personal savings habits will delay the economic recovery, but will force a complete overhaul (Pluto) in the way that our economic systems operate (Capricorn) and that is not a bad thing in my opinion.

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