Is the recession really losing steam? - Trade Only Today

Is the recession really losing steam?


The Conference Board last week reported that the recession is “losing steam.” Moreover, they project that a slow recovery should begin by the end of the year. The basis for the Conference Board’s optimism is that the index of leading economic indicators rose 1.2 percent in May, the second consecutive monthly increase. The Conference Board, a widely quoted private source of business intelligence, is a non-profit research organization providing information about management and the marketplace.

Another indicator we watch closely is the housing market. The re-stabilization of housing is viewed as an important precursor to increased boat sales. There is plenty of reason to believe that housing has reached the bottom and is positioning to begin recovery. For one thing, new home sales have been stronger than the consensus expected and this is consistent with the view that both new and existing home sales bottomed in the first quarter. That’s not to say its uniform, however. Some areas will linger way behind.
For example, further downward price pressure can be expected as builders reduce the inventory of new homes and as banks sell off foreclosed properties. But, most of this downward price pressure will be primarily in five states: California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan. Other areas of the country are near or already at the bottom in prices. In fact, home prices reportedly rose in 16 of the 20 markets surveyed recently.

Notably, Texas is not among those five states. Perhaps that’s why the Marine Trade Association of Metropolitan Houston (MTAMH) just reported a very successful 22nd Annual Summer Boat Show. “Attendance was up 28 percent,” says Ken Lovell, MTAMH President. “Even better, we have reports from participating dealers that boat sales were strong and leads of qualified buyers were even stronger."

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