Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Economic Highlights and Lowlights Before the Holidays

In the good news department:

In the not-so-good-news department:
To summarize, the Fed's efforts to dramatically lower interest rates are reaching some consumers, in the form of lower interest rates for mortgage borrowers.  However, the news appears to only be good for those having enough equity in their homes in low-cost areas who were waiting for a good refinance opportunity.  Potential home buyers are still shying away from home purchases, most likely due to an increasingly dismal economic environment.  Although the MBA purchase index is higher, yesterday's new and existing home sales data were extremely disappointing.  Furthermore, borrowers who are upside-down on their mortgages are receiving little relief as none of the mortgage modification programs are showing signs of significant progress.  The employment picture remains weak, and the financial markets are still dependent on significant help from the Treasury's TARP.  Overall, the economic news is still relatively bleak, but with some signs of life popping up in a few indicators.
On a personal note, I wish all of my readers a very Happy Holiday season.  My posting may be on the light side for the next few days.  But if anything crazy, unexpected, and mockable occurs, I will not be stopped from writing about it.

1 comment:

Reggie said...

What am I doing here? When is the NYSE going to start celebrating Boxing Day? They take themselves way too seriously.