Economic growth continues at a moderate pace, Fannie Mae's Economics & Mortgage Market Analysis Group notes in its recently published February 2010 Economic Outlook.
The labor market is improving gradually, with more than 500,000 household jobs created in January. The length of the workweek continues to rise from record lows in October 2009, and the number of part-time workers dropped dramatically – the most comprehensive measure of unemployment and a good measure of labor market slack, according to Fannie Mae analysts.
There also is upside news in the January employment report, which shows nonfarm payroll job losses steadily trending down since peak losses in January 2009.
‘The upswing in employment data means positive news for economic growth. Better financial strength for households makes it easier for people to make mortgage payments and more likely that they'll buy homes,’ says Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. ‘Overall, we think economic growth will continue this year, but at a moderate pace compared to historical recovery standards. We also see reasons to be hopeful about the housing outlook in 2010, with home-building activity on its way toward posting an annual increase for the first time in five years.’
SOURCE: Fannie Mae