Jim Hamilton at Econbrowser does a nice job sifting through recent economic statistics, acknowledging the improvements coming from several areas, but still not walking away with a smile.
I see this as more than the conventional hand-wringing about a "jobless recovery." That phrase might suggest that we're just talking about a replay of the anemic recovery that followed the 2001 recession. In the first 6 months of 2002, nonfarm payrolls fell by 350,000, or 58,000 per month. In July and August of 2009, payrolls fell by 492,000. If the recession really ended in June, as some claim, this is a much more serious problem than we saw in 2002-2003.
Sep 21, 2009 1:01 PM
Tennessee's unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point in August to 10.8 percent, meaning more than 325,000 Tennesseans are now without work. That's up 120,000 people from a year ago — a number that does not include the 35,000 people by which the state's work force has shrunk over the past year.
Sep 17, 2009 2:07 PM
Buoyed by another batch of improving economic data from the inflation and factory fronts, stocks are extending their September rally. Among the sectors leading the way are regional banks, with local players like Regions, Pinnacle and First Horizon picking up 6 percent or more.
Sep 16, 2009 11:44 AM
Based on the unexpectedly strong sales figures released yesterday, the few remaining optimists among us could make that case. But Ben Bernanke says we shouldn't get excited by any stretch of the imagination. There will be no consumer-led recovery this time, no steep upslope to match the free fall of the past year. "It's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time, as many people will still find that their job security and employment status is not what they wish it was." SEE ALSO: A Journal story with upbeat and skeptical economists chipping in with their thoughts
Sep 16, 2009 6:44 AM
Construction costs in the Nashville area fell by 0.6 percent in the third quarter, say the research folks at Connico and Rider Levett Bucknall. That's an experience similar to many other cities and one that is expected to continue for a good while.
We anticipate that contractors will continue to put forward aggressive bids as long as there remains a concern about the amount of construction work available. Uncertainty related to when construction volumes may regain a stable footing will likely continue to keep the cost of construction competitive. Recovery of the overall economy and a thawing of the credit markets could be the indicators that the construction industry may anticipate potential improvement in future construction volumes.
Sep 15, 2009 7:31 AM
CNBC's Diana Olick picks apart some media outlets' very simplistic interpretation of August foreclosure statistics that needed a good bit of nuancing.
I've said it over and over. You can't look at month to month price comparisons. You have to look year over year. When I see a year over year improvement, I'll change my tune.
Sep 11, 2009 6:38 AM
Noted bank analyst Meredith Whitney says unemployment, slow consumer spending and a continued lack of consumer and small-business credit spells more trouble for residential real estate.
"No bank underwrote a loan with 10 percent unemployment on the horizon," Whitney said. "I think there is no doubt that home prices will go down dramatically from here, it's just a question of when."
Sep 10, 2009 8:46 AM
Longtime Vanderbilt investment manager Bill Spitz is featured in this Bloomberg story on how some college endowment chiefs are planning to handle a possible inflation surge. The chief investment officer at George Washington sees prices rising faster now than in the nightmare 1970s.
Sep 9, 2009 2:06 PM
The housing market in Williamson County didn't break trend in August, with both the number of closings and the median home price falling from July. Year over year, the median price was off 25 percent from last year.
Sep 8, 2009 3:48 PM