The election, Sandy, the Mayan claim to the end of the world…you don’t have to listen too carefully to be consumed by negativity these days. These naysayers, however, have failed to do their homework. The economy is actually getting better. Below is the data that proves, despite fabricated reports to the contrary, our fiscal situation is improving.
- Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices rose by 6% this year. These are the first “real” price increases we have seen in five years and bodes well for the real estate sector and economy as a whole. (Yes, I realize home prices increased when the government offered the first time home buyer tax credit, but those number were inflated because of that credit so cannot be counted for real data.)
- Unemployment is down. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in January 2012 was 8.30%. In November 2012, that number dropped to 7.70%
- Private sector job growth has increased consistently for the past 20 months. In just October of this year, the private sector added 158,000 jobs. People are working and earning money to stimulate the economy.
- Housing starts are increasing. In fact, in December, privately-owned housing starts were at an adjusted annual rate of 954,000. This is 37 percent above the December 2011 rate of 697,000. As demand is growing, more construction jobs are becoming available. This also indicates a decrease in foreclosures and a good recovery for the real estate market.
Despite the talk of a political economic gridlock and fear of a “fiscal cliff”, the reality is that our economy is improving. Try to ignore the negative and, instead, look at the numbers. The data does not support a doomsday, but, rather, a slow and steady recovery. 2013 is going to be a good year.