MCLEAN, VA--(Marketwire - Jan 15, 2013) - Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) released today its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January showing that despite the fiscal uncertainties facing the country, consumer confidence has remained fairly resilient in recovering from its Great Recession lows, buoyed by improving labor and housing market news. Unfortunately, business owners and managers are more sanguine about the nation's business outlook than consumers seem to be.
- December registered 155,000 job gains and November's payrolls were revised up 24,000, bringing the employment increase for 2012 to 1.86 million, the best since 2006.
- Assuming the uncertainty of the fiscal policy debates during the first quarter fails to derail the economic expansion, the U.S. will likely see about two million new jobs created in 2013, gradually nudging the unemployment rate lower.
- Over the first 11 months of 2012, home sales were up 9 percent from the same period of the prior year; similar gains are projected for 2013.
- With the unemployment rate in December holding at an elevated 7.8 percent, it's likely to ensure a continuation of an accommodative policy stance by the Federal Reserve through the coming year. Therefore, relatively low interest rates will continue to be a feature of mortgage lending and the broader capital markets in 2013.
A short preview video and the complete January 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook are available here. Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic and housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.
Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
"As we begin 2013, the economy is undoubtedly at a better place now than at this time in 2012. And despite the clouds of fiscal uncertainty facing the country, positive jobs reports and the strengthening housing market continue to be the bright spot as we begin the New Year."
Get the latest information from Freddie Mac's Office of the Chief Economist on Twitter: @FreddieMac
Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four homebuyers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. www.FreddieMac.com.