The Economy: Good news, bad news

Friday, June 11th, 2010 at 4:41 pm by

Two reports on the economy — one noting encouraging signs of recovery, another reporting on the fall-off in home values in New York State.

On the positive side, on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank issued one of its periodic “Beige Book”  reviews of economic activity across regions of the nation.

Gannett News sums up the regional report,

There were “scattered signs of improvement in the job market” throughout the state and widespread plans by businesses to increase capital spending. Manufacturers were described as “upbeat.”

Consumer confidence reached a two-year high in April in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region, according to a separate report by the Conference Board.

On the other hand, also yesterday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a report on the state’s housing markets.  The Comptroller notes that New York has fared better than some other states.  He concludes,

By the beginning of 2010, the decline in home sales and the increase in foreclosures in New York appeared to have leveled off. However, property values continue to decline in Long Island and the Hudson Valley regions and the housing market is still performing below the 2006 pre-crisis levels.

The report is titled “Upstate/Downstate:  New York’s Diverging Housing Markets,”  reflecting the sharper declines in home values on Long Island and the Hudson Valley than upstate.  It includes an interesting color-coded map showing changes in home value by school district.

Housing trends might also be characterized as “converging,” with downstate property values descending but still with a long, long way to drop before they reach upstate prices, as this table indicates. 

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