Archive for June, 2009

US Consumer Confidence Drops in June

From the Financial Times:

Confidence among US consumers dropped in June after two months of building optimism, surprising economists and knocking the wind from stock markets.

The Confidence Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer confidence dropped to 49.3 this month from a revised 54.8 in May. Economists had expected a figure of around 55, but consumers are feeling worse about the current state of the economy and about where they expect it to be in six months’ time.

Confidence built over the spring amid talk of “green shoots” in the economy and a rising stock market, but this month people say business conditions are worse and jobs are becoming harder to find.

Debate Video: Krugman vs. Taylor

Paul Krugman and John B. Taylor debated the origins of the financial crisis and President Obama’s proposed health care plan.

The Public Health Care Debate

From Greg Mankiw’s blog, the pros and cons of the public option of health care:

Pro and Con.

Real Estate Rebound

Mark Perry proves “why” the latest real estate numbers are positive:

MP: That’s one way to look at it. Here are some alternative views:

1. The April to May increases in median home prices (3.84%) and mean home prices (3.26%) were the largest monthly price increases in more than a year (data here).

2. The monthly May increase in both median home prices (3.84%) and homes sold (2.36%) was only the second time in at least a year that both prices and unit sales increased in the same month.

3. The back-to-back increase in home sales in both April and May is the first time in at least a year of two consecutive monthly increases.

4. The most recent two-month increase in sales of 4.84% is the largest since April 2004 (source).

5. The 9.6 months supply of inventory in May is below last year’s May level of 10.9 months by more than five weeks, and is at the second-lowest level in the last year.

California’s Unemployment Rate at 11.5 percent in May

From the Sacramento Bee:

California‘s unemployment rate climbed to 11.5 percent in May, the highest in modern record-keeping, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

The loss of another 69,000 jobs comes as a blow to the state after unemployment dipped slightly to 11.1 percent in April, according to revised figures. The California Employment Development Department said the government posted the largest job declines in the month, down by 14,200 jobs. Every other sector besides education and health services also saw losses.

Lender-Owned Properties at a Low

From Carpe Diem:

Below are charts for the individual states that had some of the worst foreclosure problems (CA, AZ, FL and NV), showing significantly reduced levels of lender-owned (REO) properties in June 2009. Click the above link for U.S. and other state charts.

California-REO-Inventory

Data on Income Mobility

Mark Perry has some interesting statistics about income mobility. I suggest you read his entire post here.

MP:A common misperception is that the top or bottom income quintiles, or the top or bottom X% by income, are static, closed, private clubs with very little turnover – once you get into a top or bottom quintile, or a certain income percent, you stay there for life, making it difficult for people to move to a different group. But reality is very different – people move up and down the income quintiles and percentage groups throughout their careers and lives. The top or bottom 1/5/10%, just like the top or bottom quintiles, are never the same people from year to year, there is constant turnover as we move up and down the quintiles.