The Gardner Report: second Q 2013

Posted August 7 2013, 4:02 PM PDT by Matthew Gardner

Western Washington | second quarter 2013, Volume XXII


Our economy continues to expand at a rate that exceeds the U.S. rate, as well as that of three-quarters of the country.

If there is some news that is not quite so positive, it is that we are seeing job gains in industry sectors that are not particularly high-paying. This can have a negative effect on consumer spending and slow our overall growth.

That said, gains are gains! The increase in the unemployment rate is not something to get worried over. In fact, to some degree, it should be lauded. More people deciding to look for work is certainly indicative of an improving business environment.

As far as the housing market is concerned, improvement is steady, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need more inventory. I also stand by my earlier statement that those considering selling their home may be well advised to get going sooner than later. Waiting for prices to rise further may be a folly in an environment where interest rates are increasing. It is also interesting to note that every one percent increase in interest rates drops purchasing power by 10 percent. Food for thought!

In all, I remain pleased with our progress to date. As I think about the last five years that this report has been in existence, I am reminded of the times when it was very hard to find any positive news to report. Times have certainly changed and I remain optimistic that I will continue to be able to discuss positive news as we move forward. MORE

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