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Be Careful How You Interpret Housing Reports

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If the housing market can’t recover until the jobs market recovers, and according to the media hailing Obama’s great jobs recovery, one would expect a housing boom. How many cranes do you see in your hometown?

Case in point, an AP headline this week: “Americans Hold Onto Positive Economic Outlook.” Well, happy days are here again. What was the premise for the headline? Consumer confidence held nearly steady in March at 70.2 down from a revised 71.6 in February. A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy, a reading of 100 indicates a growth economy.

The AP school of journalism must celebrate when their children bring home a ‘D’ on their report cards. Why look little Johnny got another ‘D’ the best grade in a year, and we can celebrate it’s not an ‘F’!

The reason we hear ad nausea why consumer confidence is so important? Confident consumers spend, and consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity. If the AP had any reporters with the curiosity of a three year old, wouldn’t they then question why rising gas, food, and energy prices aren’t harmful to consumer spending?

Nope, not this reporter who wrote;”Gas prices are up but so is the stock market. Home prices are down but so is unemployment.”  I can hear the grill cooks at McDonald’s saying; ‘Hey Joe, sucks about these gas prices but my 401k is skyrocketing, it’s all good!”

Quoting an economist from the AP writer’s brilliant analysis; “The resilience suggests that jobs remain a more important concern for consumers than gas prices.” This too is simply brilliant. If you don’t have a job, you’re not worried about gas prices. The government can just mail you your check.

The news wasn’t good again in housing this week; Case Schiller reported home prices falling again in sixteen of nineteen cities reporting. The NAR reported homes going under contract fell in February from March, although up 9% over last February when the country was buried under a foot of snow compared to this year’s balmy Groundhog Day, new home sales continue at depression levels, while the majority of construction starts were multi-family, again.

Back to AP’s contention consumers are holding onto a positive economic outlook. Wait until they see what Obama is doing for electricity rates. New EPA regulations on CO2 will effectively eliminate any construction of new coal fired power plants and cause many existing plants to close. All thanks to Lisa Jackson who’s picture hangs above the alter of every environmental extremist.

This apparently isn’t a problem for AP reporters, after all their idol promised to do as much in the 2008 campaign. Besides AP like their sycophant brothers and sisters in the cause of getting Obama reelected, report everything Obama says as truth, without challenge. This means they actually believe Obama when he says drilling more of our own oil won’t impact gas prices.

When electricity rates ‘necessarily’ skyrocket the AP folks will be baffled. This will simply add a bigger burden to struggling families, cause more job losses in the name of a manipulated hypothesis, deplete disposable incomes, and put a major dent in the AP’s revered 70% of economic activity.

Back to the economist. Jobs are more important than gas prices, but how can you use the word ‘resilience’ when talking about a 70.2 consumer confidence reading?

Resilience should never be used in any article regarding Obama economic policy. Resiliency can only be used legitimately in conjunction with the hard working people, small business owner, and entrepreneurs who have managed to keep this economy afloat in spite of the horrendous anti-business agenda emanating from DC.

I have a theory the AP should investigate. My theory why consumer confidence is even at 70.2. The prospect that team Obama who has given us Leviathan laws, over-regulation, irresponsible energy policy, higher cost of food, gas, and electricity, who suppresses job growth, created record poverty, welfare, food stamps, and length of unemployment will get shellacked again in November. If Obama’s defeat were a sure thing, consumer confidence would be at 100.

In the meantime folks, don’t trust a thing Obama says, watch what he does, and take his cheerleaders reports in the media on housing with a grain of salt. Look for the number of cranes in your hometown.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Fritz Pfister or identified sources, and not necessarily those of RE/MAX Professionals of Springfield or RE/MAX International.

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