Dec 26, 2009

Economic indicators reasonable

The Federal Reserve did not change its target for short-term interest rates, and prices--while higher at both the producer and consumer level--remained reasonably in check. Industrial production, housing starts, and the index of leading economic indicators posted advances. For more details check out the Vanguard Weekly Review @

Of course new home purchases continue to rise - probably as a direct result of the increases in foreclosures. While this alone is not a great reason to cheer on - it is reason to look and and consider the fact that individuals are confident about the future and are willing to take a risk in investing in the future - either on their primary home or their investment home. As the US economy is very dependent on consumer sentiment (on the retail side) - even these small numbers should give a lot of hope to investors and economists who are keenly watching the situation.

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Dec 7, 2009

Vanguard weekly update (12/04/09)

According to the economic news in the Vanguard Weekly update, November marked an unexpected break from the seemingly endless reports about massive job losses. Unemployment declined to 10.0%, and the steady--and large--declines in payroll numbers nearly came to a halt, at least for the month. It's not yet clear how sustainable this change of direction will be. As we have mentioned in several other posts, it is going to take a lot of innovation and demand (not just here in the US, but also globally) to help get the economy to chug along at a good pace.

Other reports indicate that the economy is growing, but well-regarded gauges of business activity show manufacturing growth slowing and service-sector growth reversing.

Another number to always keep an eye on is the value of home sales across regions. This we believe is more important than the number of homes sold or number of mortgages taken out, as this is a REAL indication of demand, rather than of (speculative in most cases) investors seeking a good deal in a down market. Here's hoping for the best in the weeks ahead - that the holidays bring even better cheer to everyone.