It’s easy to get caught up in doomsday theories when it comes to the economy, but I’m here to tell you that the U.S. economy is doing just fine. Just this week, the Federal Reserve released some positive economic news in its Beige Book economic report, exhibiting evidence that the U.S. economy has been strengthening over the last two months.
Today, we’re going to check out the state of the economy and see how the economy has fared during the first half of 2014.
Economic growth was considered moderate to modest in the Federal Reserve districts. Manufacturing expanded across the country, while consumer spending and housing were a mixed bag due to slow recovery from unusually brutal winter weather. Overall nothing to be concerned about, as the market and economy is gathering steam after the bumpiness at the beginning of the year.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) recently reported that its services sector index increased to 56.3 in May; up from 55.2 in April and beating expectations of 55.5. This is the 53rd straight month the index stayed above the important 50 mark, which marks the boundary between between expansion and contraction. Business activity also boosted up to 62.1 from 60.9 in April.
Meanwhile, according to new flow-of-funds data from the Fed, the wealth of U.S. households grew 1.9% to $81.8 trillion during the first quarter of 2014. Increases in housing prices and stock market gains enhanced balance sheets. Wealth is up 11% compared to a year ago and 43% since the 2008 recession.
This set of new data indicates an overall optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy heading into the second half of 2014.