Last weeks often contrarian Economist made a cautiously optimistic case that the US Economy is improving. The article ticked through housing, economic data, and stocks to find positive signs in each. I recommend printing out and sharing this article with all your clients. There has been plenty of bad economic news, as sales professionals our mission must be to bring forward the positive.
Here are highlights from those three areas:
The housing bubble:
"The current recession has broken many of the rules of business cycles, but not this one: when something gets cheap enough, buyers emerge.
America’s housing bubble seems mostly deflated. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index, house prices through January were down 29% from their all-time peak. Relative to incomes, houses are now 10% undervalued, and relative to rents they are fairly valued, thinks Paul Dales of Capital Economics, a consultancy... "
A variety of financial statistics:
"In March factory purchasing managers were their least gloomy about new orders since last August. Vehicle sales rose 8% in March from February. New claims for unemployment insurance have stopped rising. Gross domestic product, which shrank at a 6.3% annual rate in the fourth quarter, probably shrank at a similar rate in the first, but the composition of the drop was more encouraging; it was driven not by the collapse in consumer spending, but by sinking output as businesses sought to bring inventories into line with lower sales. Second-quarter growth “has a good chance of being positive”, according to Ian Morris and Ryan Wang, economists at HSBC, though “the risks…are still huge.”
The stock market:
"As investors have shifted their economic outlook from catastrophic to merely grim, the stock market has shot higher, by 19% on April 1st from its 12-year low on March 9th. Like houses, stocks look cheap."
Read the entire article, "A faint sound of applause,"from last week's Economist.