If you watch the news you'll no doubt notice a disproportionate number of stories about the so called failing housing market, rising unemployment, and consumers lack of confidence with the economy. But sometimes the news shows a different kind of story. One that isn't solely focused on a negative aspect because it's actually running a positive story about these issues. I know how easy it is to miss those elusive kinds of stories when they're aired. It's the double rainbow/pot of gold/unicorn effect (a scientific term I just created which makes this a historic moment for all)! I recently came across a couple of stories about our economy and consumer confidence that had that rare and elusive thing called ‘positive news’ sprinkled throughout and I wanted to share them with you in case they may have snuck by without notice.

RISMedia reports that consumer confidence is on the rise. "Consumer confidence improved in November, rising 15 points and reaching its highest level since July. With consumers’ view of business conditions perking up, and their opinion on job conditions brightening, positivity seeps into what has been a fairly negative past few months. The Index now stands at 56.0, up from 40.9 in October. The Present Situation Index increased to 38.3 from 27.1. The Expectations Index rose to 67.8 from 50.0." 

The New York Times reported on the results from Black Friday sales. "In Nov. 2011, spurred by aggressive promotions from retailers, American consumers opened their wallets over the holiday weekend in a way they had not since before the recession, setting records in sales and traffic. The National Retail Federation stated that spending per shopper surged 9.1 percent over 2010 — the biggest increase since 2006 — to an average of almost $400 a customer. In all, 6.6 percent more shoppers visited stores on the Thanksgiving weekend than in 2010. Total spending, including online sales, reached an estimated $52.4 billion Thursday through Sunday, the National Retail Federation said. About 35 percent of that total was spent online." 

Search Engine Watch reports that "Cyber Monday 2011 was the heaviest U.S. online spending day in history." Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore stated, “Cyber Monday was yet another historic day for e-commerce, with online spending reaching a record $1.25 billion. It was just the second billion dollar spending day on record, following on the heels of Cyber Monday 2010." Consumer confidence and spending are widely followed economic indicators because they generally indicate the pulse of the economy. It's encouraging that there were strong signs of spending over the holiday weekend and that consumer confidence is on the rise.

There is positive news surrounding the housing industry as well. Due to the fact that we have a significant amount of housing inventory on the market means that home buyers are able to find incredible deals on homes that specifically fit their requirements. Home sellers are able to capitalize on the incredible deals on the market by purchasing their next home at below market rates. As interest rates continue to remain incredibly low, the cost of a mortgage is more affordable now than at any other time in history.

Did you take part in the historic holiday shopping weekend? Did you start shopping at 5am on Black Friday to get incredible deals or did you wait until Cyber Monday rolled around so you could take care of all your shopping online while still in your pajamas?


Kenny Ochs

The Todd Tramonte Home Selling Team