Economic conditions have steadily improved in 2013. The unemployment rate is down, the housing market is showing significant improvement, and consumers are able to spend more money. These are all aiding in the stimulation of the national economy. All of these signs point to one conclusion, the economy is shaping up to do well in 2014.
1. Unemployment rate reaches all time low in five years
Whether or not people are actually working is a strong indication of the condition of the U.S. economy. The current unemployment rate is at seven percent, which is the lowest it has been in five years. The Labor Department reports 203,000 jobs were added in November to help reduce unemployment to its current status.
Employed workers have also experienced improvement. Throughout the year, wages increased two percent. The average work week has also gotten longer as well, adding more hours to people’s paychecks. To top it all off, the average hourly pay increased four cents.
2. The housing market is looking positive
Real estate and the condition of the housing market is closely watched by economists to determine the status of the economy, as well as what the future may hold. The biggest indicators that the housing market is transitioning well, include a reduction in foreclosures and an increase in home sales. People are able to buy and keep their homes, as opposed to renting or facing foreclosure. It is a sign that consumers have money.
3. Consumer spending increased
The amount of money people have at their disposal is another sign of a stronger economy. A Gallup poll recently released showed that consumer spending increased to $91 daily in November, a jump from $88 daily in the month of October.
The last time an increase in spending like this occurred from one month to the next was back in November 2010. In 2010, spending in October increased from $63 a day to $66 a day in November.
Compared to three years ago, consumers have an average of $18 more to spend a day. That is a significant jump, and is another sign that points toward improved economic conditions.
A combination of the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in five years, an improved housing market, and increased consumer spending are all key signs the economy will do well in 2014.