All too often, the media or financial analysts focus on the negative, rather than the positive. While researching and reading over the past week, I’ve come across the following positive items.
- Housing starts in June, 2015 were 26.6% higher than last year and permits to build new homes rose 30% compared to June, 2014. Both statistics are 8 year highs. These show continued economic recovery and indications of builder and consumer confidence.
- The price of crude oil dropped below $49 per barrel in the US on July 23rd, which is lower than any time in the last 3 years. If it remains around these levels, expect gas prices to continue to fall.
- Jobless claims in the US for the week ended July 18th was the lowest level in 41 years. While the weekly figure may be an aberration, the seasonally adjusted claims of 225,000 is far less than 6 years ago, when nearly 600,000 Americans were applying for claims each week.
- The federal deficit continues to fall. Last week, the government reported that the current fiscal deficit will be $455 billion, which is less than the $483 billion predicted in February 2015 and far less than the $1 billion annual deficits during the financial crisis around 2008-10.
- Apple stock fell after their earnings report Tuesday afternoon, as some of their results were slightly less than some analysts’ expectations. They are pretty impressive to me. Apple reported quarterly revenue of $50 billion, profits of $10.7 billion and 47.5 million iPhones sold during the 3 months ending 6/30/15. They sold 35.2 million phones during the same quarter last year. Apple now has cash on hand of $202.8 billion. The first iPhone was sold approximately 8 years ago. They may sell 200 million iPhones in 2015.
- While the Greece debt crisis is important for its impact on the European currency and its lenders, the country is economically tiny in relation to most of the world. Its economy is smaller than Peru and half the size of Ohio’s economy. Its stock market capitalization is just 0.03% of the MSCI All Country World Index. Its debt is large compared to the Greece’s economy, but represents only about ¼ of 1% of world debt markets.
The media’s attention on negative issues, as well as the overwhelming volume of information today, can cause you to lose focus on the bigger picture. Our role is to help you have a broader perspective, so that you can be confident and financially secure, to live the life that you and your family desire. We hope this information helps you to be positive.