Housing Shakes Off Pandemic’s Drag but Employment Report Sends Warning Signals

If home sales alone were an indicator of economic health, you might conclude that the economy has rebounded smartly from the pandemic-induced recession and is on a path for steady growth.

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New Year’s resolutions are always frustrating, so we thought we’d compile some New Year’s forecasts instead. If resolutions fall by the wayside, you blame yourself; if economic forecasts don’t bear out, you won’t blame yourself, because they aren’t your predictions, and you won’t hold the forecasters responsible, either, because you won’t remember what they said.

‘Tis the season for economic forecasts, and we’ve assembled a few for your information – or your amusement, if you enjoy measuring how far from the bulls-eye many of these projections often land. As a group, economic forecasters have traditionally done better than political pollsters, though, admittedly, that’s not a particularly high bar.

As President-elect Donald Trump prepared to take the oath of office January 20th, the consensus economic forecast was “uncertainty” ─ uncertainty about the policies he will pursue, about the initiatives he will be able to implement, and about the impact they will have on the economy.

The Federal Reserve is signaling that a December rate hike is almost certain. As widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left rates unchanged at its November meeting, reflecting somewhat more concern than the FBI about interfering in the impending election. But the committee’s post-meeting statement indicated that Fed officials see the moon, and sun, and stars aligning nicely to justify the long-awaited increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate, which has remained unchanged since last December.