TheGrio and CNBC team up to deliver a weekly report of money matters and market updates for our community.
CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:
Last week President Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the $800 billion “Stimulus Bill”. The White House reports that more than 2 million jobs have been saved or created so far, but concerns remain that blacks have not seen their fair share of the recovery.
The week also saw mixed news on housing – new home construction rose by 2.8 percent in January 2010, but new building permits, which provide insight on future building activity, declined by 4.9 percent.
In the week ahead – investors prepare for national economic reports on Housing, Consumer Confidence, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On Friday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues its January 2010 report on existing-home sales activity, a key economic indicator of the residential real estate market. December 2009 saw a nearly 17 percent drop in sales of previously-owned homes. The drop was attributed to the passing of the November deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit.
January 2010 new home sales data is due Wednesday from the US Census Bureau and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). December 2009 new home sales came in at 342,000, representing a 7.6 percent drop month-to-month and an 8.6 percent drop year-to-year.
Did the overall economy grow significantly during the fourth quarter of 2009? We’ll find out with the revised Q4 2009 Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report, due Friday from the Dept. of Commerce. The fourth-quarter GDP advance estimate released in January showed a 5.7 percent annualized growth from quarter-to-quarter, due largely to increased exports and personal expenditures, and improvements in inventory investments.
The Conference Board’s February 2010 Consumer Confidence Index, due Tuesday, will shed light on the consumer side of the economy. The January 2010 Index had a reading of 55.9 – up 4.3 percent from the previous month – attributed largely to increasing optimism about the labor market.
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