Talking about the latest Economic Outlook from Freddie Mac…
Pessimists see the glass as half full.
Optimists see the glass as half empty.
Some might say the glass is the wrong size.
And the latest Economic Outlook from Freddie Mac is entitled Toasting the New Year with a Glass Half Full….
You may have been down the road of making resolutions for New Year’s. Everyone has high hopes for a better or different year. And I think you and I both want a better 2012 than 2011. Yet there are mixed signals according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist:
“With the new year comes a sense of cautious optimism. There are some positive signs in the job market and consumer confidence; housing is starting to raise hopes for continued gradual economic recovery. But the economy still is giving some mixed messages.”
So what does the January 2012 Economic Outlook from Freddie Mac say?
- December 2011 was the 15th consecutive month of gains for jobs
- Unemployment rate continued its downward trend in December 2011 to 8.5%
- The Congressional Budget Office expects unemployment to remain around 8.5% in 2012
- In December 2011, consumer confidence rose for the second month in a row
- The Small Business Optimism Index has climbed for four consecutive months
- But the Small Business Optimism Index was lower than in January 2011
- Housing starts improved slightly in 2011
- Most forecasters expect 2012 to be the best home-construction year since 2008
- Freddie expects home sales to grow between 2% and 5%
- Nearly 80 percent of Americans believe now is a good time to buy a home
Whether you see the glass as half full or half empty, I am glad to see more positive news for real estate and the economy! There may be mixed signals but let’s hope that the optimists are right!