Stats tell tale of how good 2013 was for economy
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By Ken Weise  January 17, 2014 12:00 am

Was 2013 a terrific year for stocks? 

Absolutely!

The good news wasn’t limited to Wall Street, however, as the unemployment rate fell, the economy revved up, home prices rose and inflation pressure was minimal.

 

• Bulls triumphed: Christmas Eve brought the Dow’s 49th record close of 2013: 16,357.55. The S&P 500 settled at 1,833.32 on Dec. 24 – a new all-time peak – while the NASDAQ ended the day at 4,155.42. The YTD gains on Christmas Eve were stunning: DJIA, 24.83 percent; S&P, 28.55 percent; NASDAQ, 37.62 percent. As you read this, these indices may have climbed even higher since, according to foxbusiness.com and usatoday.com.

 

• Gross Domestic Product (GDP) improved: Our economy expanded just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, but things got better in 2013. The Bureau of Economic Analysis measured GDP at 1.1 percent for Q1, 2.5 percent for Q2 and 4.1 percent for Q3, according to money.cnn.com.

 

• The job market began to turn around: In November, the jobless rate hit a 5-year low of 7.0 percent. From August through November, non-farm payrolls grew by an average of 204,000 jobs per month, compared to average growth of 159,000 new jobs a month from April to July, according to cbsnews.com.

 

• Homes grew more valuable: In late November, the September edition of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 13.3 percent year-over-year gain. Prices hadn’t risen so dramatically in a 12-month period since February 2006, according to cnbc.com.

 

• The Consumer Price Index (CPI) barely rose: It was flat in November, and that put yearly consumer inflation at only 1.2 percent; the annualized gain in the core CPI was also minor at 1.7 percent. As recently as the summer of 2011, consumer inflation was approaching 4 percent, according to marketwatch.com.

 

• The recovery seemed to acquire more momentum: After years of troubling economic developments, 2013 was refreshingly positive. If the economy hasn’t quite healed yet to where it was before the recession, indicators such as these suggest it won’t be long until that day. 

 

• The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index measures the change in the value of U.S. residential housing market: The S&P/Chase-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index tracks the growth in value of real estate by following the purchase price and resale value of homes that have undergone a minimum of two arm’s-length transactions. The index is named for its creators, Karl Case and Robert Shiller.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by the urban consumers for a market basket of  consumer goods and services.

 

Ken Weise, an LPL Financial Advisor, provided this article. He can be reached at 707-584-6690. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions of this material are for information purposes only.

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