How is the economy doing in your part of the country? We continue to hear that unemployment rates have risen in half the 50 states, the airlines are still losing money despite charging passengers for everything but a trip to the bathroom and people are still having their homes foreclosed. It seems pretty dire in America.
Is it as dire as it seems or are we neglecting to see the positive signs of economic recovery in the country? There is no doubt that certain areas of the country are struggling more than others. California got hit by the economic meltdown in a big way. Many people I know lost their jobs and lost half the amount of what their home is worth and are still struggling to get back on their feet.
In North Texas where I live, the last 2 years of economic turmoil have definitely impacted the area in a negative way. Some businesses have closed down, and home foreclosures increased. Still, Texas was not hit nearly as hard as other states, so for us, economic recovery seems to be happening already.
In my small town just East of Dallas, Texas, a few businesses have closed recently, but others are opening up in town. In the last 2 years I rarely saw any houses being built, but now that has changed. There is less for sale signs on existing homes, and the “time on the market” for those homes seems to be decreasing. I see a few more “help wanted” signs popping up and more people back in the local stores shopping.
The banks are reporting fewer loan losses according to Yahoo News and the U.S. economic growth is growing faster than experts expected. Retail sales are surging, the stock market seems to be stabilizing and rising slowly and mortgage defaults are dropping. These are all good signs and reasons for us to be cautiously optimistic. Hopefully we have all learned from taking a trip to the extreme highs and lows of our economy, to be smarter with our money. It’s not necessary to have the biggest house, the biggest SUV, the best new electronic gadget and the newest fashion in order to live happy and productive lives. A savings account is a good thing, a bunch of credit cards are not.
So how is the economy in your part of the country? Are you seeing good things or is there still a bleak outlook? How have you coped with the bad economic times and what did you learn for the future? Comments are welcome and appreciated.