Local Market Monitor, a National REIA preferred vendor, recently released their National Economic Outlook for November, 2018 where they share their thoughts on developments taking place in the U.S. economy.
National Economic Outlook – November 2018
November 27, 2018
By Ingo Winzer
The Gross Domestic Product is one way of looking at the economy. It includes consumer spending, what companies invest in new equipment and buildings, changes in business and farm inventories, exports and imports, and government spending. In the news we usually hear how much it’s changed from quarter to quarter, which varies a lot. But if we look at the change from the same quarter of the previous year it’s easier to spot trends.
Seen that way, GDP has been steadily growing for the past two years, particularly because of more spending on healthcare. It doesn’t match the surge of healthcare spending when the Affordable Care Act was enacted, but points to the fact that healthcare spending – and the jobs it creates – will be driving local economies for quite some time.
In October, total jobs were up 1.7 percent from last year. Jobs were up 1.4 percent in finance, 2.6 percent in business services, 2.1 percent in healthcare, and 1.6 percent at restaurants. Government jobs barely increased, as did jobs in retail. With more and more on-line shopping, we have to accept that the low job growth in retail is now a permanent feature of the economy.
Job gains in manufacturing were 2.3 percent, continuing the trend of the past year. This may be a temporary response to international trade disputes, but it could also signal that highly-automated US factories have regained the edge in making good-quality products at a reasonable cost.
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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.