Four Economic Measures: From March 2009 to Today1. Gross Domestic Product March 2009: We learned the economy had fallen by a 6.3% annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2008 – its largest decline in 26 years. Today: GDP recovery has been more plodding than many people might prefer, but nonetheless, nearly every quarter has shown growth since 2009. And over the past two years, GDP has increased at a 3.2% annual rate. 2. Home Prices March 2009: The median home price was $169,900. Today: The most recent data from January 2017 indicates that median home prices have increased to $228,900 – a 34.7% increase since March 2009. 3. Unemployment March 2009: The unemployment rate was 8.7% and would climb to 10% by October 2009. Today: The most recent data from February 2017 shows an unemployment rate of 4.7%. 4. Total Employment March 2009: The economy had lost millions of jobs during the recession and would continue to lose millions more throughout 2009. Today: As of February 2017, the economy has added nearly 12 million jobs since March 2009. Throughout this economic recovery, people have seemed concerned the bull market was about to end. When discussing the bottom of the market 5 years ago, in the March 12, 2012 Weekly Update, we wrote about many analysts’ worries that a pullback was imminent. Even last year, one MarketWatch columnist wrote an article titled “Happy Birthday Bull Market – Now Write Your Will,” warning that the markets would not reach new peaks in the near future. The S&P 500 has gained around 19% in the months since then. Of course, no one can predict exactly when this bull market will begin to decline. And at 8 years old, only one recovery has lasted longer since World War II. As always, we will continue to offer the advice we believe suits your best interests in every market environment: Focus on your long-term goals and personal needs, not headlines and emotions. We have come a long way in 8 years, and we will continue to guide you through the market’s changing times and inevitable fluctuations. If you have questions about where you stand today or how to prepare for tomorrow, we are here to talk.
ECONOMIC CALENDARTuesday: FOMC Meeting Begins Wednesday: Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, Housing Market Index, FOMC Meeting Announcement Thursday: Housing Starts Friday: Consumer Sentiment
Quote Of The Week
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt