Bloomberg reports Bank of America is predicting housing prices will increase 8% this year, while JPMorgan Chase forecasts prices will increase 7% this year and rise to 14% by 2015.
The Fed reports household wealth reached $66.1T at the end of 2012, about 98% of the pre-recession high water mark. That news, combined with a surge in equities and rising home prices, has analysts projecting Americans finally recaptured everything they lost during the recession.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds about 45% to 50% of new businesses established (from 1995 to 2005) were still around today. That number drops to about 42% by the 7th year, 34% at year 10 and 26% by the 15th year.
The unemployment rate in the US is 7.7% as of the latest report, compared to the worst countries in the world of Greece (26.8%), Spain (26.1%) and South Africa (24.9%). Countries doing the best are Thailand (0.4%), Singapore (1.8%), South Korea (2.9%) & Malaysia (2.9%). Germany is 6.8%, Britain is 7.7%, France is 10.6% & Italy is 11.2%.
A survey by ING finds the average divorced person has $10,000 less in retirement savings than the average married person.
Housing starts came in at 917k vs. 915k est. and 910k prior, as new home construction and building permits jumped to the highest level in 5Ys.
A recent study documented in the New England Journal of Medicine that confirmed the idea a Mediterranean diet (olive oil, nuts, fish and plenty of wine) was more effective in the reduction of heart attacks and strokes than a low fat diet. However, people must drink 7 glass of wine per week to preserve good health. Please eat and drink responsibly.
A recent survey of Americans over age 50 found that 50% failed a rather simple finance math test. Here is the test – there is $100 in a savings account that pays 2% interest annually. If the money is left in the account for 5Ys, will the depositor have: more than $102, exactly $102, or less than $102?