MIAMI (CBS4) – Investors got a New Years’ boost out of the latest U.S. economic indicators showing solid gains for construction spending and manufacturing.
And that’s all it took to trigger a solid rally on the opening day of Wall Street 2012 trading.
But, what does it all mean to our bottom line and should we expect this year to be much better than 2011?
“I think it’s going to be better,” said local taxi driver Eilene Taylor
Taylor worked as a restaurant manager last year, but the hard economic times took their toll on her business.
“The worst. 2011 was horrible. Tourists are coming back and spending again, so I think 2012’s going to be better,” Taylor added.
Taylor is bullish on the New Year because of the continuing uptick she’s seeing out of local tourism.
Occupancy and room rates here are seeing steady gains, according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Improving consumer confidence and overall spending gains helped make this years’ holiday season better than 2010.
December auto sales were the 2nd best for the year. And heavy manufacturing’s at a six month high.
Still, some financial analysts warn 2012 may face some of the same old problems that held back the economy last year.
“I think financially, people should remain conservative…it’s a good time to check spending and investments and growing savings. It’s the time of the year for all the standard planning questions,” said Lane Jones of Coral Gables’ Evensky & Katz.
That’s why Sweetwater resident Donnye Alvarez is still worried about needing to boost his bank account in case the economy slows down again.
“I think 2012 is not looking good,” said Alvarez.
There are still several major issues clouding the forecast over where the local and national economy’s heading.
Some economists warn Europe could still see a double dip recession, fueled by the continuing debt problems facing several major national economies.
Mideast tensions are rising again, this time out of Iran, and that’s already raising gas prices here and around the world.
And finally, there’s U.S. Politics, with nobody able to predict what’s going to happen in the fall elections.