Tuesday, January 24, 2012
For too long, the state of the economy has been measured with one index or another telling us how we should feel about it.
The Empire State Manufacturing Index, The Producer Price Index, The retail sales report, Housing Starts, The Beige Book, The Dow and countless others. Yes, all of these types of reports can help us to face facts and make decisions based on some of those economic conditions, but they can not be the "be all, end all" for any of us. The effect is similar to stepping on the scale. When we take the effort to step on the scale to weigh-in regularly: it is much less of a surprise. We can recognize trends and make adjustments to our lifestyle to achieve an ideal weight. When we check in on the economy through the numerous reports available, it can be helpful as well.
Unfortunately, drama sells news so drama is reported. Too much of what was reported to us for so long generated so much fear that we have been conditioned to flinch with every bit of economic news that is reported. Some shiny spots this week: The consumer confidence report. This report is created through interviews of everyone from people on the street, business owners and even examines factory orders and interviews purchasing managers. It is then assigned a number. That number is higher now than it has been for a very long time. Also, the number of foreclosures appears to be slowing down. Banks will spend several years processing all of the mess of foreclosures hitting the market...but there may just be an end in sight. In this, the election year: we hope to see the big media machine reporting on shreds of positive news. Hopefully they do.
Montana Mortgage Lender, Bozeman, Montana