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MID-AUGUST ECONOMIC UPDATE

Written by: Cade Polter

What’s in the News

Inflation continues to dominate economic news as the Federal Reserve continues to try to push inflation below its current mark. The consumer price index for July remained the same, making it interesting to see what occurs in the September Fed meeting. The U.S. gained 187 thousand jobs in July, coming in below the 200 thousand job expectation causing the unemployment rate to fall to 3.5%. The national gross domestic product showed an increase in annual growth rates up to 2.4% for the second quarter of the year. Spearheading this action are some of the large states in the U.S. such as California, Texas, and Florida who all have shown growth throughout the year.

What's Next for Real Estate

Homebuying has become much more difficult in the United States due to inflation and a large spike in housing prices. A housing supply shortage is causing the price spike amid the demand for housing. The opportunities for renting have increased to fill people’s needs. In a survey, younger generation Americans claimed to be happy with their situation renting because of the flexibility offered. The office sector’s downward trend has raised questions about what’s next. One idea is to turn some of these office properties into multifamily apartments. Particularly focused on larger cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., this would be a costly operation, but could provide value in the long run.

Looking Ahead

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since March of 2022 to fight inflation. On the way towards a “soft landing”, the United States economy has run into a sticking point with inflation at about 3%. The raising of rates may be done, but the interest rates will likely stay high to continue cooling the economy down. Small businesses continue to be beaten up by wage inflation and price raising. Unlike their larger, corporate competitors, many small businesses do not have extra money to spend on additional wages workers are looking for. Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if the labor market strengthens from its current state.


Sources: Globe St, WSJ, First Trust, Federal Reserve.

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