January 3, 2011
(Hopefully) Signs of a Recovery
Stocks are up to begin the new year, U.S. manufacturing and U.S. auto sales appear to have fared comparatively well over the past well, and even housing did better in 2010 than was expected (although expectations were admittedly low).
Some other signs indicate at least some additional expectations of an improved economy:
- The Detroit Auto Show is expanding for 2011;
- Construction spending was up for the third month in a row;
- IPO activity appears to be on the upswing (thanks, in part, to China); and
- Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor just put $500 million into Facebook.
Okay, so the last one is probably not inherently much of an indicator of an improving economy, but Goldman doesn't tend to bet poorly that often, so I take it as a good sign that Goldman thinks people are confident enough to keep on networking socially. Perhaps that means people will keep spending like it's 2007, which may or may not be a good thing, but at least some people seem to think it is. Of course, not everyone thinks spending equals confidence, and that is probably true, although I tend to think people who increased spending this year over last year were probably more confident than they were last year, even if they would not call themselves "confident" when asked now.
Anyway, here's hoping that 2011 brings a healthier and more prosperous year than 2010. Happy New Year.