Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Crystal Ball Needed:2010 Will Be Tough.

I don't want to be too quick to judge 2010. But the readings I am seeing point to a very tough year economically. I learned a long time ago to watch behavior and action above all else. I do the action test when out in the real world. I will watch the number of shopping bags in the mall, car dealership parking lots, traffic at the Starbucks, store traffic and cart composition at the Costco or grocery store. I have been wondering if the anecdotal evidence I had been hearing was really speaking to a real sustainable economic recovery.

With this question on my mind and back at the house, I gazed into the crystal ball and saw two troubling charts. These charts are the actual Google US search volume for real estate and mortgage related terms. Google has roughly 70% of the search market. The action points to a very tough start to 2010. I am not counting this year out in terms of economic growth entirely. Until unemployment really improves, I expect to see falling home prices, retailers constantly having huge promos, auto makers pushing crazy deals and people putting the financial house in order after the meltdown.

It is so rough that even the luxury goods index is down 6.90% YoY. How are the wealthy even getting by these days? May God Bless them and keep them in 1000 thread count sheets while they drift off to never never land.
CLICK Pics for larger view.

-13% vs 09
-29% vs 08
Mortgage Index. This includes all mortgage terms and not just jumbo loans.

-44% vs 09
-43% vs 08

You can also find other indexes for Autos, Furniture, Travel etc. Go to Google Index Tool Here.