Economy suffers most in postwar period. Gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 32.9 percent in the second quarter as businesses were closed or forced into limited operation to prevent overwhelming the nation’s healthcare system. The decline was in line with expectations and sets the stage for a recovery featuring the largest ever gain in GDP in the third quarter of this year. Although the reduction in the broadest measure of the economy highlights the depth… Read More
Stop-and-go economy reflected in consumer confidence. After surging as businesses reopened in June, the Consumer Confidence Index dipped in July as states reinstated some restrictions. The overall index is 92.6, down from 98.3 last month and 132.6 in February. July marks the fourth consecutive month the index has trended below the 100 threshold, following 44 months above the benchmark level. In addition to closures, uncertainty regarding the new level of federally supplemented unemployment benefits, a… Read More
Job growth increases as economic restoration continues. The labor market recovered further in June as unemployment fell 220 basis points to 11.1 percent and 4.8 million people returned to work, the largest monthly job gain on record. While the pace of rehabilitation is accelerating, total employment still lies 9.6 percent below its pre-pandemic level with 14.7 million fewer jobs in the market than in February 2020.
Reopening boosts consumption last month. Consumer spending posted impressive gains for a second consecutive month as states greenlighted a wider range of businesses to resume operations. Total retail sales advanced 7.5 percent last month, building on an 18.2 percent climb in May. The increase pushed year-over-year gains into positive territory, though sales sit well below pre-health crisis levels. In addition to greater access to both service-based and traditional retailers, the magnitude of stimulus pumped into… Read More
Labor market rebounds as restrictions begin to ease. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May to bring the unemployment rate down to 13.3 percent, indicating the worst of the economic fallout may be behind us. Economic shutdowns resulted in job losses of 22.1 million in March and April, pushing the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent, the highest since 1948. While the employment gains are very encouraging, uncertainties and a long road to recovery for America’s… Read More
Apartment owners benefi t from retreating home sales. The sale of existing homes in March posted the largest month-over-month decline in more than four years, retreating 8.5 percent. Yet sales are up 0.8 percent on an annual basis as properties in escrow before the shelter-in-place restrictions move through the pipeline. Purchasing is expected to continue to slow into the spring buying season due to more complicated logistics, employment uncertainty and limited inventory. These factors benefi… Read More
Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code enables real estate investors to defer capital gains on income-producing property when those gains are used to acquire a like-kind investment. Colloquially, a 1031 exchange is the transaction in which an investment property is liquidated and the proceeds from the sale, including capital gains, are used to acquire additional income-producing property or properties. For the exchange to meet IRS standards, buyers have 45 days from the initial sale… Read More
Implications of COVID-19 on retail emerge. Retail sales dropped a record 8.7 percent in March as much of the country shuttered all but essential retailers and social distancing guidelines stemmed traffic at others. Core retail sales, which exclude auto and gas, dipped 3.1 percent, highlighting the divided nature of the strain on retail. March’s figure offers a glimpse into the damage done to retailers by shutting down much of the consumer-based economy. However, April has… Read More
Global health crisis causes shock to labor market. Restrictions on personal mobility due to the spread of COVID-19 have forced many businesses to temporarily close, contributing to 701,000 lost jobs in March. These same events forced consumers to shift spending more toward online storefronts and necessity retailers. Facing more demand, companies in these industries are hiring, which will help offset contractions in other sectors. Recently enacted fiscal stimulus will provide further aid.
Coronavirus pandemic brings job creation to a halt. A record 3.28 million workers filed for jobless benefits in the week ending March 21 as the impact of COVID-19 hit the U.S. economy, putting an end to the nation’s historic run of employment gains. Applications for unemployment insurance last week surged to nearly five times the previous record as millions of companies have issued layoffs or furloughs. Many service businesses like hotels, restaurants, barber shops, gyms… Read More