In a remarkable turnabout, the broad independently-owned business community, which employs the bulk of the nation’s workforce, is emitting increasingly positive attitudes regarding economic recovery opportunities. This has been statistically reflected in consumer confidence, new construction projects, and unexpected improvements in automotive purchases, as well as the sale of new and existing homes. While housing construction is still far below the heady days of the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, prices are well up from their recessionary lows, and inventories continue to decline.
While residential new construction and existing home sales and the pickup in car sales have been primarily due to Federal Reserve Board low-rate loans, the “red-hot” energy-related expansion is continuing to set ever higher records. Simultaneously, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal regulatory imposition have shown increasing signs of easing up on their previous blockage of economic expansion, under the guise of “climatological purity.”
The Obama Administration’s attempt to put through additional hurdles to energy development and imposing stiff new regulations already on the books may be a temporary attempt to hype employment opportunities and generate additional tax revenues. It could also foretell an awareness of a shift in public attitudes that perceive today’s structural unemployment as a continuing impediment to accelerated job creation.
The third 2013 quarter economic results (July, August, September) could well foretell what the final quarter and the first half of 2014 will bring; while the Congress/White House continuing resolutions have kept the fiscal debate (debts, deficit) on the sidelines. That “sleeping giant” could awake with a bang, as the end of the 2013 fiscal year and the need for setting a 2014 budget in addition to a new debt ceiling approaches.
Another “headache” complicating the fiscal year-end showdown, will be the public “outing” of the Federal Reserve Board’s crutch in maintaining the U.S. economy’s liquidity and low borrowing rates. These will become a major issue in the upcoming governmental fiscal year-end confrontation. Early shock waves late in June severely rocked the financial investment arena’s trading desks, as greater awareness of the Federal Reserve’s largesse begins to sink in. As these issues are timed to coalesce at third quarter’s end, the ability to resolve, or the failure to act wisely, may signal what the U.S. economy, and that of the world at large will be faced with for the rest of 2013.
Expect the direction of such decision-making to foretell both fiscal, economic and political manifestation for the upcoming 2014 new year. And waiting at the incoming New Year’s gate will be the implementation of Obamacare and its rash of new taxes.
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