Following are some key highlights from the January Economic report:
– The U.S. economy is healthy and continues to growth at a steady pace.
– For the most part, the economy is not currently showing signs of overheating.
– Payrolls continue to expand at a steady rate as the unemployment rate remains under 5%.
– The U.S. is on course to add over 2 million workers to payrolls for the 6th straight year.
– Even though employment growth is slower than previous years, it is still enough to accommodate new entrants into the work force.
– Current job opening are around 5.5 million, which should result in stronger wage growth as well as attract more workers into the labor force.
– Some industries continue to report that they are having a difficult time finding the skilled workers to fill open positions.
– The West remains the strongest of the four regions, followed by the South.
– The strongest job growth was reported in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Washington and Georgia.
– Similar to the overall economy, the housing market grew at a slow and steady rate.
– The housing market should continue to improve as the underlying fundamentals of the economy remain solid.
– Total home sales, both new and existing properties, are currently about 6 million on an annual basis, with the strongest activity being in the South.
– The supply of both new and existing homes is currently near 5 months.
– The lack of inventory for both new and existing homes remains a problem and is impacting housing affordability in some markets.
– Home price appreciation remains in the 5% to 6% range, with some of the strongest gains being in the West.
– Most economic forecasts for 2017 remains positive with growth similar to 2016; however, there are a number of unknown factors that could cause a change with the new administration.