1) Currently US economic growth seems to be slowing, as the 2006 holiday season was a little disappointing, showing a sign of soft-laning of the economy. According to a Chicago-based research company, "average weekly sales for December rose 4.5%, below the full season's forecast for 5% growth," (see the link above), which probably means that the economy is heading toward a 2-3% real growth path with stable prices and near-full employment in the near future -- the best possible scenario at hand.
2) A team of Duke University researchers has just published their study that more and more immigrants are contributing to technology-oriented start-ups in the U.S. The study shows that a little more than a half of Silicon Valley tech companies were founded by immigrants in 2005, compared to about a quarter in 1999, estimated by AnnaLee Saxenian in her well-known study. According to the Duke University study, immigrants were behind one out of four tech start-ups in the US as a whole over the last decade, and most significantly, "Indian immigrants founded more tech start-ups from 1995 to 2005 than people from the four next biggest sources — Britain, China, Taiwan and Japan — combined" (see the link above). Now that migration from India to the US has become more difficult than ever, due to recent changes in US immigration policy, an important question is whether there will be less immigrants from India and, as a result, fewer start-ups in the US in the future.