It would be hard to argue that with recent new highs in the stock market and increased sales in the real estate market, our national and local economies may finally have turned the corner and brighter days are now upon us.
All indicators seem to indicate that while growth has been slow and the Euro still is in somewhat of a precarious state, the U.S. stock market appears to be taking all the warning signals in stride. Seen as an “emotional” barometer of many investors, Wall Street seems to feel China’s government support of their ailing housing market, the strengthening economies of many European nations, and the infusion of federal monies in our own housing market are buoying investor sentiment. Coupled with higher corporate profits and home sales up 10% from 2006 levels, the economy both on a national and local level appears to be more on solid footing.
Fort Myers, Florida reported a 28% increase in home prices from 2011 to 2012 and commercial vacancies decreased from 18% to 8%, a clear indicator that both the residential and commercial markets appear to be gaining traction.
With the automatic budget cuts that went into effect on March 1, 2013 that had politicians and investors alike anticipating a financial “Armageddon,” due to job losses incurred from the loss of federal funding and economic stimulus programs, the economic forecast continues to be optimistic.
Fears the real estate market could be compromised as the fed would start to pull some of the money back that has been infused into the economy leading to higher interest rates, Fed Chairman Bernanke indicated interest rates are going to continue to remain low so as not to depress an industry struggling to regain its strength. With job growth forecast to strengthen in 2013 and 2014, it appears the U.S. economy is more resilient than one may expect and that the financial troubles plaguing the European markets together with our own high unemployment rates may be less concerning to many investors, who are more focused on the potential of a leaner and more competitive U.S. economy full of investment opportunities.