Friday, September 12, 2008

Foreclosures, Retail Sales, and Financial Company Deathwatch

US home foreclosures rose again in August.  According to Realty Trac, one in every 416 households received a foreclosure filing in August affecting 303,879 properties nationwide, an increase of 12% from July and 27% from August 2007.  Realty Trac indicated these were the highest numbers they've seen since they started tracking foreclosures.  Nevada was once again ranked as the state with the highest foreclosure rate, followed by California and Arizona.  The rate of increases in default notices moderated in parts of the country due to measures taken by states to give troubled borrowers more time before foreclosure proceedings are initiated.  Whether extra time will actually keep borrowers from ultimately defaulting remains to be seen, but this can be viewed as a small positive in otherwise bleak news.
Meanwhile, retail sales were down .3% with ex-autos down .7%.  Excluding gasoline, however, purchases were unchanged last month.  I think this indicates that consumers are dodging those foreclosure notices from the bank by walking to the mall and shopping all day.  

A few updates on Financial Firms on Life Support in a pleasing bullet point format:


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