(From Bank of America)
Last week the jobs report came in better than expected with 103,000 jobs created in September. Another surprise in the report was the significant upward revisions, which added 99,000 jobs to what was previously reported in prior months. For instance, last month the jobs report showed zero job creations and now that figure has been revised to show 57,000 jobs created. Once again, these aren’t great numbers—but they are better than originally thought, and they tell us that the economy is not in a recession.
(Summary Written by Bank of America)
Some pessimism crept back into the markets late last week as China’s manufacturing PMI contracted for a third consecutive month. There is growing fear that a slowdown in China could affect the already fragile global economy. Also personal income was reported lower than expected.
On the optimistic side, several economic reports were better than expected. New home sales for August were up 6.1% from a year earlier and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose in July from June in the 10 and 20 city survey, and was the fourth monthly gain in a row.
(From Bank of America)
Last week in review
(September 19 – 23, 2011)
The week began with speculation that the Fed would announce “Operation Twist” after its two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Essentially, Operation Twist is where the Fed sells its holdings of short-term securities and notes and then purchases longer-term notes and bonds in order to try to lower longer-term rates even further.
The Fed did announce Operation Twist, but with some key surprises:
From Bank of America
Last week in review (August 22 – 26, 2011)
Last week, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium at Jackson Hole and discussed the near-term and long-term economic situation. His message was optimistic, stating that regardless of “the crisis and the recession, the U.S. economy remains the largest in the world.” He stated that the Fed expects “a moderate recovery” to continue and even strengthen as the country goes forward.
A substantial majority of both homeowners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That’s according to the results of a National Association of REALTORS® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.
The recently released study, American Attitudes about Homeownership, conducted by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reveals that homeownership still ranks high among the list of smart financial decisions.
Ninety-five percent of owners and a whopping 72 percent of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home than not. Seventy-seven percent of homeowners believe that homeownership will help them meet long-term financial goals.
The Zillow Home Value Index fell 26% since its peak in June 2006. That’s a greater decline than seen in the Depression-era years of 1928 to 1933.
According to Zillow.com, “November marked the 53rd consecutive month of home value declines, with the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) falling 0.8% from October to November, and falling 5.1% year-over-year.”
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Harris Interactive partnered again to conduct a public opinion study of consumer preferences when it comes to real estate services to see if home buyers’ perceptions have changed given the economic challenges over the past two years. Since the original study in January 2008, the real estate and mortgage markets have seen challenging times. Surveying over 1,100 recent and future home buyers in November/December 2010, NAR and Harris Interactive discovered that usage of and interest in one-stop shopping has held steady over the past two years and, in some cases, increased, as availability of mortgage credit has tightened.
With the economy starting to recover, consumers feel better about spending again—and that spare cash is going back into their homes. Home remodeling is on an upswing after the industry’s worst slump since at least the early 1960s.
Trulia.com, a top site for home buyers, sellers and renters, released the results of its biannual American Dream survey, which has tracked American attitudes towards homeownership since 2009. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on Trulia’s behalf in January 2011 among 2,079 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.