Economic Roundup: January 3, 2011

Mark Ott

Loan Officer

W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital Corp.

Office: 928-775-9330

NMLS: 189552

License: BK-0903998

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Last week offered a light financial calendar, with the spotlight focused on a decline in the Consumer Confidence index from The Conference Board.
The index, which had improved in November, dipped to 52.5 in December from 54.3 in November. (The index was ranked at 100 when benchmarked in 1985.) While a decrease, this should not be read as gloom and doom on consumers' part, according to Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at The Conference Board.
"Despite this month's modest decline, consumer confidence is no worse off today than it was a year ago," she says. "Consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy and labor market remains tepid, and their outlook remains cautious. Thus, all signs continue to suggest that the economic expansion will continue well into 2011, but that the pace of growth will remain moderate."
The additional confidence indexes also showed declines, with the Present Situation Index (how consumers feel about the current economic circumstance) declining to 23.5 from 25.4.
Some other notable statistics:

  • The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 41.2 percent from 42.9 percent.
  • Those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 7.5 percent from 8.5 percent.
  • Consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.9 percent from 4.3 percent, while those stating jobs are "hard to get" edged up to 46.8 percent from 46.3 percent.
  • Those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.5 percent from 19.1 percent, while those expecting more jobs declined to 14.3 percent from 15.1 percent.
  • The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 9.9 percent from 11.1 percent.

While consumers might have increasingly worried about job prospects in December, the Department of Labor reported last week that for the week ending December 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims dipped to 388,000. This marked a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 422,000. The four-week moving average was 414,000, a decrease of 12,500 from the previous week's revised average of 426,500.
This week, the financial calendar will pick back up again with lots of news to kick off the New Year. The news kicks off today with home construction spending data for November from the Census Bureau, which is expected to taper off from October's growth, while still showing an anticipated 0.2 percent gain.
The Census Bureau will follow with factory orders for November on Tuesday, which market watchers expect will show a 0.5 percent drop from October's data. Car and truck sales data for December from the auto manufacturers will also be released on Tuesday.
Friday will see a variety of employment related figures for December from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate, hourly earnings and the average workweek. Unemployment, the most watched figure of the quartet, is expected to remain at 9.8 percent.
This week will wrap up with consumer credit data for November from the Federal Reserve.



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This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information or