Local Market Monitor’s National Economic Outlook for May

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Local Market Monitor, a National REIA preferred vendor, recently released their National Economic Outlook for May, 2019 where they share their thoughts on developments taking place in the U.S. economy.

National Economic Outlook – May 2019

May 13, 2019
By: Ingo Winzer

Measured by Gross Domestic Product, the economy grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the first quarter, after growing at a 2.2 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2018. If you do away with the quarterly variations, the economy has been growing around 3 percent, and Consumer Spending – by far the biggest chunk – has been growing around 2.5 percent.By recent standards these are good rates of growth, but they’re also low enough so that there’s little room for any slowdown before we’re in a recession. I continue to worry that consumer spending is mainly being propped up by growing levels of consumer debt.

Total jobs in April were up 1.8 percent from last year. Jobs were up 2.6 percent in business services, 2.5 percent in healthcare, 2.8 percent at restaurants, 1.3 percent in finance. Government jobs were up slightly, retail jobs were down slightly.

Jobs in manufacturing, though up 1.6 percent, are no longer growing at the hot pace of last year. And jobs in construction are growing at a slower pace that puzzles me because the overall level of construction remains low, despite higher prices for housing. Maybe it’s just very difficult to build more housing where it’s most needed, in tight urban centers.

 

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About the Author: Ingo Winzer is President of Local Market Monitor, and has analyzed real estate markets for more than 20 years. His views on real estate markets are often quoted in the national press and in 2005, he warned that many housing markets were dangerously over-priced. Previously, Ingo was a founder and Executive Vice President of First Research, an industry research company that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet in March 2007. He is a graduate of MIT and holds an MBA in Finance from Boston University. He resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Director of Education & Outreach, National Real Estate Investors Association

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