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Q4: A Look at the Post-Hurricane Economy

As Q3 ended, the economy continued on its tepid growth path.  Unknown is the value of the economic carnage of two hurricanes that hit the mainland and a third that completely devastated Puerto Rico.  The bond and foreign exchange (FX) markets have a sense that all is not well, but, the equity indexes haven’t yet espoused that viewpoint. Meanwhile, at its last convocation in mid-September, the Fed’s Federal Open Market …Read More

Northern NV Will Remain Prosperous in a National Recession

My last column (Sunday, June 24th) was about the possibility of a recession near-term.  On that same RGJ Business front page, the headline was “Reno Median Home Price Tops $350k” and “May Unit Sales Second Highest Recorded.”  The two stories seem incongruent.  But they aren’t. Impact of the Recession In the financial meltdown of the last recession, the Nevada economy was one of the hardest hit in the nation.  It …Read More

At Recession’s Onset, There is No Bell, Bugle, or National Anthem

From my reading of the business media, there are few business economists who believe, like I do, that the probability of a recession in the next 12 months is greater than 50%.  A recession is generally viewed as two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth. Looking forward, a recession isn’t inevitable, as there have been ‘soft landings’ in the post-World War II era.  Nevertheless, from my lens, there doesn’t …Read More

Quarterly Economic Outlook: Q3/2016

The “Brexit” caused market swoon on Wall Street turned out to be a nasty 5.3% two day dive (S&P 500) that was all but reversed in the next 4 trading sessions.  The reason was clear early on – despite forecasts of immediate worldwide economic doom and gloom, the non-binding referendum was mostly a political statement about bureaucratic government, and the referendum split along demographic lines (older vs. younger, and rural …Read More

Barone: Housing doldrums a supply problem

One of the key indicators of U.S. economic health is housing – both the turnover of the existing housing stock and the construction of new units. Existing home sales, new home sales, and housing starts all peaked earlier this year. Given the health of the U.S. consumer, as vividly demonstrated in the employment and auto sales data, it is puzzling why the housing numbers now appear to be so anemic. …Read More

Are equity prices too high?

It really must be confusing for the ordinary investor as the media continues to emphasize negative economic news. The current story line continues to be a sluggish economy, where GDP growth was 0.2 percent in the first quarter and likely to be revised to negative growth, while even Europe, long stuck with growth-killing socialism, grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate over the same time period. Are U.S. equity prices …Read More