We’ve seen some steady economic gains here in South Florida and across the country.
Where we’ve been since the start of the year can give us solid clues where we’re heading for the second-quarter, starting April 1st.
Miami Machinist Julio Geraldo’s not optimistic the local economy’s really seen much growth this year.
Geraldo says “It probably got a little better last year, but it’s slowed down some. I asked, Did he think the economy’s shown any improvment thisyear? He said “I don’t think so, no”.
But Miramars’ Raquel Aquirre disagrees and adds “I can’t complain, I hope it’s going to get better”
As we end Q-1, Wall Streets’ seen solid gains.
South Floridas’ real estate recovery’s among the best in the nation…..supported by mostly Foreign Cash sales. Over hte past few months, some local selling prices prices are growing again.
Lay-offs have slowed down, and some hiring’s improving .
Foreign Trade and Tourism around South Florida are going strong.
So what can we expect thru the second quarter?
With the local economy growing, but no major new companies opening branches here, new job growth will remain slow.
Local spending may be cautious following April’s tax season.
Rising consumer prices, including prices at local gas pumps and stagnant saleries will hurt continue to hurt family finances.
With possible spending cuts by consumers, Wall Street’s growth may also slow.
But South Floridas’ Economy should continue to see solid gains in tourism, foreign trade and financial services boosted by the continued slow recovery of our real estate and construction sectors.
But the big wildcard remains those rising gas prices and it’s effects on the entire national recovery.
So what does it mean to our family finances ?
Decide if you need to increase your income tax witholding right now while Tax Season is fresh in your mind. You may end up owing less next year.
See if you can afford to put more money into your savings or investment accounts, and try payimng down any Credit Card Debt as soon as possible.
And if you’re planning for a summer vacation, now’s the time to start looking for the best deals.
It may be 9 months away, but it’s also a good time to consider a “Christmas Club Account” to start saving for all that end of the year spending. And consider using cash rather than charging up your credit cards. It’s all possible, if you can start planning right now.
But that’s that’s another of Al’s Financial Forecasts for Q-3 and finally Q-4 later this year.