Finding the Upbeat in the Economy and Housing Market

There's a Future to be Optimistic About

However there's much to be optimistic about looking forward. From an economic point of view, while buffeted by fiscal policy indecisiveness and natural disasters on the home front and a European self-governing debt crisis overseas, the U.S. economy held off an economic stand still during 2011 and most likely to continue with more of the same during 2012.

Finding the Positive

Statistics for housing along with the length of the housing bust to date are indications that 2012 could possibly be the year in which we start turning the corner. Over the 2011 summer, concerns over the economy were at their peak as the economy seemed to be at the edge of a complete standstill. Since the recession had ended officially, this was an all-time low for the overall economy as the consumer confidence Data during November 2011 plummeted, concerns over another double-dip recession surfaced again, while indecisiveness over fiscal policy reached its height. Into the fourth quarter of 2011, and heading on to 2012, a majority of the major economic stats are showing a heartening level of stability along with positive, although weak, trends. Although the stride of growth is sluggish, this is expected during an economic recovery created by a financial calamity.

Households are beginning to pay down their debts while at the same obtaining credit easier. Surprisingly, households have also obtained Home Equity Credit Lines during the third quarter of 2011 which is the first period since the financial calamity started, which is another positive sign there's access to liquidity which will soften the overwhelming impact of income devastation. A quarterly survey created by New York Federal Reserve Bank1 is evidence that overall household debt is continuing its decline, although at a declining rate. In 2012, family units will need to start finding a balance between levels of household debt and consumption.

Consumer attitudes rebounded strongly during the late part of 2011, showing a six-month height during December. Although still low when compared with pre-recession levels, thee figures are an indication of an improved belief in the economic strength for 2012.

The labor market appears to ever so slowly be clawing its way towards healing. In December, the jobless claims went down to their lowest point since 2008. The rate of unemployment remains stubbornly persistent while any gains are typically because of the amount of people looking for work have declined. A consensus is that overall unemployment is going to stay high during 2012 and that it's going to take several years to significantly reduce this level . Nevertheless, there's been a consistent creation of jobs in the private sector during the latter portion of 2011. We can fully expect the doggedness of unemployment to continue to be an especially contentious matter during a 2012 election year.

The Housing market typically has lengthy business cycles. Typical housing recessions in a region have taken some where between three to as long as five years before they bottom. The housing recessions nationwide has acted similarly in that it's been bouncing along the bottom over the past couple of years. While prices are turning down to new lows again, affordability has been dramatically rising because of house price being down combined with rock-bottom interest rates on mortgages. When adjusted for inflation, the "decade was lost" as the prices for housing are nearly identical to the start of the millennium. Two books one on fixing this mess and getting back to normal:

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