As we approach 2014 it’s a good time to take a look back to review the economic forecast for 2013. Some things turned out as expected, others, well, there were a few surprises.
Economic Forecast for the stock market
According to Money magazine’s December 2012 issue financial experts expected stocks to climb by 8%, this was assuming the Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates. Unexpectedly, however, stock rates soared 25% gaining much more than expected, even though the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady.
Economic Forecast for the housing market
After the 2008 housing bust investors and homeowners didn’t know when they could expect a good housing market. But as we entered 2013 buyers came off the sidelines and moved back into a housing market that was ready to stabilize. In fact, the demand rose so much and sellers were hesitant to sell that home prices soared an estimated 12% due to a limited housing supply.
Interest rates also remained low, which was great news for some homebuyers, assuming you had decent credit and could get the bank to loan you money. Other buyers remained sidelined due to high interest and their inability to purchase a home without a substantial down payment. There’s still room for improvement in the housing market, especially for certain areas of the country.
Economic forecast for the labor market
The labor market did improve slightly, creating an estimated 190,000 per month, but experts contend that many of the new jobs were for part-time, not full-time employment. In fact, according to John Williams, an economist known for asserting the government reports manipulated, “The broad economic outlook has not changed, despite the heavily-distorted numbers that continue to be published by the BLS,” Williams wrote. “The unemployment rates have not dropped from peak levels due to a surge in hiring; instead, they generally have dropped because of discouraged workers being eliminated from headline labor-force accounting.”
Economic forecast for health insurance
And in case you thought all the news was good news, think again. According to Front Page Magazine, almost five million people have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare.
Although the administration is quick to state that about 1.2 million people have gained health coverage through Obamacare. According to reports, “Approximately 365,000 of those people have purchased private insurance and 803,000 have been determined to be eligible for the public Medicaid program.” Unfortunately, the number of consumers who are gaining insurance through Obamacare can’t seem to keep up with those of us who are losing it.
The bad news doesn’t stop there. Millions more Americans may potentially lose health insurance in 2014 and 2015 when the employer mandate kicks in. Thousands more could potentially lose their jobs if businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Mardels lose their Supreme Court case and are choose to shut their doors rather than have their religious freedom infringed.
Economic forecast for consumer debts
We can always expect consumer debt to remain high. In fact, credit card debt is the third largest source of household indebtedness. Only the mortgage and student loan debt markets are larger. According to NerdWallet Finance, “The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,279, the result of a small number of deeply indebted households forcing up the numbers.”
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