Thursday, February 07, 2008

Home Prices Set To Slide In '08

National Association of Realtors pulls back on outlook and forecasts second consecutive annual decline in prices and sales .
In a fresh sign that the nation's housing crisis will worsen, home prices are likely to decline in 2008 for the second straight year, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

The Realtors, in its monthly economic and sales outlook, is forecasting a 1.2% drop in prices of existing homes sold this year.

Only a month ago, the association was forecasting that prices would be flat in 2008 and that the home market would rebound in the last half of the year.

The group was forecasting that the first quarter would see a record 5.3% drop from year ago levels. Now it's expecting the current quarter to see even a larger decline in prices of 6.1%.

Last year, when the median price slipped 1.4 from 2006 levels, was the first on record that the Realtors recorded full-year decline in existing home prices.
The average American family is seeing steep declines in both their 401(k) balances and their home values. For most families these are their greatest assets.

Our economy has been left in a shambles by an administration that doesn't understand the plight of the middle and lower classes. When will Americans finally realize that Republican economic policies are destroying our country and have taken us from the largest creditor nation on earth to the largest debtor nation on earth. Who has benefitted from these awful policies? Those at the upper echelons of society. Is this really what we want for our nation?

Monday, February 04, 2008

January Job Cuts Up 69%

Nearly 75,000 layoffs were the highest total since August, according to a consulting firm, but the cuts are still not at 2001's recession pace.
Job cuts increased 69% in January from the previous month, as the U.S. economy continues to struggle amid a housing and credit slump, according to a survey released Monday by a consulting firm.

Global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said planned layoffs swelled to 74,986 from 44,416 in December.

The year-over-year increase was 19% from January 2007's 62,975.

The January 2008 total represents the highest monthly job cut figure since August, when there were 79,459 layoffs.

The housing and financial sectors were hit the hardest, according to Challenger, while the retail, leisure and hospitality, and professional and technical services sectors actually saw employment gains last month.

But despite the large increase in layoffs month to month, job cuts remain well below the 2001 recession levels, which averaged 140,000 per month from March to September.

"The fact that job cuts have not reached pre-September 11 levels could be an indication that the impact of the economic slowdown on the job market may be muted," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement.

Challenger believes that if the government's proposed economic stimulus package works, the United States will avoid reaching the 2001 levels.
I believe that the worst is yet to come. The financial industry has just started to lay off and the housing market has yet to bottom. People are hurting financially and with easy credit a thing of the past how will families that have mortgaged their futures be able to keep pace?

The American consumer has seen their debt load go from 7 trillion to 12 trillion under the failed economic policies of this administration. Until that debt is paid down I think a slowdown in spending isn't just certain its necessary. Without real pain now we risk even worse finances down the road. So much for wanting a better economic future for your children. That is now just a pipe dream.