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Despite a global economic slowdown and some recent ups and downs, Wall Street’s seen steady gains thru the first half of the year.

As we enter the 3rd quarter, starting July 1st, there are still signs of a sputtering recovery. The latest private numbers show U-S Manufacturing at its’ lowest level in about 2 years.

But while there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the future of the National and Local Economy, it’s still easy to find local consumers very optimistic about the second half of 2012. The latest optimism follows lower energy costs and falling gas prices.

Doral waiter Fernando Santos think cheaper gas will be help everyone stretch their budgets and adds ” I think it’s going to be good, people paying less for gas will give them more money to spend on other things and that will help the economy.”  

And there are already signs Businesses nationwide may be ready to start growing again.

Online Help-Wanted ads grew by 232-thousand last month according to the Conference Board. And that’s being seen as the the latest sign of a slowly improving labor market.

Food prices should remain stable, as transportation costs fall as fuel costs keep dropping.

But salaries are still  stalled as companies continue trimming operating costs.

Closer to home, construction, tourism and real estate continues to improve.

Nationally, Construction back in May grew to a 5 month high and that’s the best growth since the end of last year.

Even the battered housing markets are seeing new construction in much of the country.

But rental prices are also rising and that will squeeze many local budgets.   

Financial Analyst Lane Jones of Coral Gables Evensky and Katz, says as we enter the 3rd Quarter, the U-S Economy is still facing serious challenges, but “The economy continues to grind forward, particularly the U-S Economy continues to grind forward. And relative to the rest of the world, we probably look a little bit better.”

And don’t forget, we’re just a few weeks away from the start of back to school shopping, the end of the model-year close-outs at local car dealerships, the labor day weekend and the start of the fall tourism-travel  season.

So don’t be surprised if we see some solid economic gains over the 3rd quarter around South Florida, even if those gains may not be officially reflected in the latest Economic Numbers until later in the Fall.


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