From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Foul weather, foul moods

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It’s fall. The time of year when Seattle’s absolutely beautiful summer turns into yechy autumn.

With all of that in mind, three yechy pieces of economic info hit my desk all at once today. First, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index hit a 7-month low of 48.5, which was not only lower than last month (53.2) but also much lower than economists consensus forecast (52.1). Why? The general public has internalized the notion that significant levels of unemployment will be with us for quite a while.

Then, the Business Roundtable released it’s 3rd quarter 2010 CEO survey. You’d think, with corporate profits on the rise, that this bunch would be breaking out the good champagne. But no, even though major corporations plan to increase capital spending over the next few months, they have lower expectations of both revenues and employment.

Finally, S&P Case Shiller, who normally send out quarterly reports, sent me a July update (dated September 28), which shows housing prices continue to be disappointing. While prices are, indeed, up from a year ago (by about 4%), the price index has been cycling below 2003 levels for over a year. Among major markets, the best year-on-year performance was in San Francisco (up 11.2%) while the worst was in Las Vegas (down 4.9%). Intriguingly, all of the California major markets are looking strongly up.

Written by johnkilpatrick

September 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

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