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Cars and Houses Roar the Economy Back to Life?

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On cars and houses

josh[By Josh Velazquez CMPS]

jvelazquez@bankingunusual.com

The US economy is roaring back to life as measured by the two largest purchases that people make: cars and houses. The interesting thing is that the uptick in sales is not being driven by artificial government incentives.

Instead, consumer demand is the main driver. It’s also interesting to note the impact of housing on your local economy.

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According to data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the value of construction as well as real estate and rental and leasing represents approximately 16.8% of the US economy, but the impact is much larger in some states.

More:

Click here to check out the impact of housing in your state.

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3 Responses

  1. Financial markets were remarkably calm last week

    Many stock markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia moved higher as investors chose to focus their attention on the minutes of the October 27-28, 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which were released on Wednesday, rather than recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon, Mali, and against Russia.

    The FOMC minutes captured attention because they suggested even if the Federal Reserve does begin to tighten monetary policy in December, rate increases may be incremental and the target rate may not be as high as many imagined. Bloomberg reported:

    “Fed officials received a staff briefing on the equilibrium real interest rate, or the policy rate that would keep the economy running at full employment with stable prices, according to the minutes. Fed officials discussed the possibility that the short-run equilibrium rate “would likely remain below levels that were normal during previous business cycle expansions,” the minutes said.”

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has written about the equilibrium real interest rate on his blog. The point he makes is the equilibrium rate – not the Fed – determines interest rates. The Fed uses its influence to move interest rates toward levels that are consistent with its estimate of the equilibrium rate. If the Fed pushes for rates that are too high, the economy may slow. If it pushes for rates that are too low, the economy may overheat. Not everyone agrees on this point, and that has led to debate between Mr. Bernanke and Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

    While the Fed is expected to begin tightening U.S. monetary policy, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to further loosen monetary policy in December. The Wall Street Journal reported the ECB is “prepared to deploy its full range of stimulus measures to fight low inflation…” The news was welcome. CNBC reported European markets closed the week at three-month highs.

    Arthur Chalekian GEPC
    [Financial Consultant]

    Like

  2. Atlanta home prices rising, trailing national average

    Home prices here are increasing, but that rise is somewhat sluggish compared to the rest of the country.

    http://business.blog.myajc.com/2015/11/24/atlanta-home-prices-flattening-up-for-year/

    The monthly S&P/Case-Shiller report shows that the metro Atlanta area’s average home price increased by 0.1 percent between August and September, although it showed better year-over-year growth than some other cities.

    Eliott

    Like

  3. It was a near end-of-year short week, but it wasn’t quiet

    Oil prices moved higher last week, according to The Wall Street Journal, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported crude-oil inventories fell unexpectedly last year. Analysts had predicted oil supplies would rise.

    One expert cited by The Wall Street Journal suggested the stockpile decline and subsequent oil price rally owed much to Gulf Coast refiners reducing inventories “to mitigate state ad valorem taxes on year-end crude stocks.” If that’s the case, the oil price increase may not be sustained.

    Regardless, improving oil prices gave U.S. stock markets a boost. In particular, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) benefitted from improving performance in the energy sector:

    “Of 80 U.S. listed oil and gas producers, all but one – a bankrupt company – rose on the day, with nearly half of the companies up more than 10 percent. Energy shares were the biggest gainers Wednesday in the S&P 500, up 3.8 percent and helped the S&P 500 on the whole gain 1.2 percent in late-afternoon trading.”

    Barron’s reported energy stocks had gained 5 percent for the week, but were still off by about 22 percent for the year.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its World Oil Outlook last week. BBC reported OPEC anticipates oil prices will begin to rise in 2016, although its producers’ share of the market is expected to shrink by 2020 as rival oil-producers proved to be more resilient in the face of low oil prices than had been expected.

    Arthur Chalekian GEPC
    [Financial Consultant]

    Like

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