Dominant News Stories Are Not Positive
If you pay attention to the economic headlines these days, you will notice that despite the focus on “green shoots” and “recovery”, many if not most of the stories are indeed negative. By negative I mean indicative of continued weakness of the economy.
For example, I still see continuous news breaks about company X doing more layoffs. Companies of every type are still laying off workers (AOL, Aetna, J&J, etc.). It is interesting that layoffs are continuing in such large numbers and only the larger companies are getting the headlines. I work for a small business and we’re continuing to consolidate and definitely not hiring. As unemployment increases, I wonder how long the “lagging indicator” argument holds.
Also, the housing numbers continue to be awful. Yeah, some housing prices have stabilized somewhat but foreclosures are still at record highs. Interestingly, I’ve heard several arguments recently about how residential real estate is STILL a major problem and not going away anytime soon. With regards to anecdotal evidence, I read somewhere that there are 18 million vacant homes right now in America. And you’re really long home builders? Yikes.