Apparently, we were in a recession and no one told me about it?

Our economy has been stagnant, I’ll grant you that.

To the average person, especially one in Massachusetts, it’s had little to no effect. The slowdown in real estate sales in the suburbs hurt owners, to be sure, but the number of people needing to sell is almost so small as to be significant to the 6 million other residents who live here, who have been enjoying a 4.5% unemployment rate, steady if not stellar wage growth, etc.

Pockets of the country have it far worse, which is what has been affecting the national economic picture. It seems to me that there hasn’t been a lot of public discussion of the tough times being had in the “Rust Belt”, which includes parts of the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Those states are suffering up to 20% unemployment in areas.

I think we’re still in a holding pattern – there are so many things that could throw a wrench in the works. War, higher interest rates, further drops in manufacturing jobs, higher unemployment rates … oh, and the effects of a slowdown in the housing market, not just because people are slipping into foreclosure, but also because of all the lost construction, mortgage lender, and … real estate agent jobs lost.

My take? Much ado about nothing. Steady growth this year, no interest rate cuts, slightly higher mortgage loan rates (6.5% fixed rate?), lower unemployment rate in Massachusetts (yay!), higher condo prices in Boston, on average (3.5%?), lower single-family home prices in Massachusetts (2.7%?), and snow at Christmas.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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