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Obama Prospects Brighten as Economic Recovery Moves to Expansion

Less than 12 months from the presidential election, the U.S. economy has moved from recovery to expansion, prompting similar shifts in President Barack Obama’s political prospects.

The unemployment rate moved downward last month, to 9 percent. The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months two weeks ago, a sign the recovery may be encouraging companies to limit cuts in headcount. And a private outplacement company is predicting that jobs losses in the government sector, a drag on U.S. employment, may be leveling off.