Happy Days Are Here Again…

Consumer confidence is at its highest level since February 2008.

Housing prices in 20 major cities jumped 10.9% in the past year, the biggest annual increase since April 2006.

We know the deficit is looking much, much better than expected, as recovery brings more revenue to the government.

So for 2014, the GOP is left trying to sabotage Obamacare and trying to milk all the mileage they can out of the Benghazi, IRS, and reporter (AP/Fox’s James Rosen) “scandals.”  I remain unconvinced that any of these is really a true scandal.

A Very Strong Housing Report

The latest S & P/ Case Schiller property values index shows a very strong 4.3% rise in home values between October 2011 and October 2012.  This was more than economists had expected.

The housing sector finally is helping the overall economy, rather than draining it.

The increase reflects record-low mortgage rates; low inventory; increased consumer confidence that the economy is improving; and a growing  population, many of whom would have bought in the last few years if we’d had a decent economy.


Good News for O

The Conference Board announced that its index of consumer confidence is 70.3, the highest it’s been since February.  It was up from 61.3 in August, and economists had expected only 63, so, as Joe Biden would say, it’s a BFD.

An increase in consumer confidence is good for President Obama; if it were declining it would be better for Mitt.


Green Shoot Alert!

From “Housing Passes a Milestone,” David Wessel, WSJ:

“Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up.

“Economists aren’t always right, but on this at least they agree:  A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.

“For some time, housing has been one of the biggest causes of economic weakness.  It has now — barely — moved to the plus side.

“From here on, housing is unlikely to drag the U. S. economy down further.  It will instead reflect the strength or weakness of the overall economy:  The more jobs, the more confident Americans are about keeping their jobs, the more they are willing to buy houses.”  Italics in original.