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, 2018 where they share their thoughts on developments taking place in the U.S. economy.  Interestingly, Mr. Winzer warns of “a risk we haven’t seen before” resulting from a “greater concentration of jobs and real estate value in a smaller number of big markets.”

National Economic Outlook – May 2018

May 17, 2018
By: Ingo Winzer

Like most people, I’m most confident talking about an economy that produces physical things like airplanes or soybeans or TV shows, or even data. I’m less sure when it comes to financial activities that place a value on things like stocks, sub-prime mortgages, credit card debt or real estate.

So, while I’m happy that the manufacturing part of our economy is adding jobs at a good clip, I’m less happy that the same is true for the financial sector. The added jobs are a good thing, but the expanding activity makes me nervous, especially because computers magnify financial effects these days.

The government also worries about the financial sector, which is why it’s let the big banks get bigger – easier to regulate a few. But their concern is just that banks follow the rules, while my worry is that perfectly legal activities will – once again- blow up in our faces.  And – once again – it will be the real estate sector (homeowners included) that gets hit the hardest. The greater concentration of jobs and real estate value in a smaller number of big markets is itself a risk we haven’t seen before.

Jobs in March were up 1.6 percent from last year, same as previous months. Jobs were up 2 percent in manufacturing, 1.5 percent in finance, 2.6 percent in business services, 2 percent in healthcare, and 2 percent at restaurants. Jobs were up slightly in retail, and flat in government. Unemployment was down a touch.

 

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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