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Other returns: Manufacturers up. Housing down.

   It's the Day After Election Day, so in Business Today we need to count winners and losers, just like everyone else.

September home sales hit new low - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   Home sales plunged again in September to their lowest levels for the month in at least a decade, as the housing market continues to stumble along after the federal tax credits expired.
   For September, 717 homes changed hands, down by 24 percent from 944 a year ago, according to new statistics released by the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.
   However, that was up by 12.2 percent from a dismal August performance, when only 639 homes closed. So far this year, sales are down by 13 percent, to 6,443.
   “It’s a reflection of all the people who bought in the first half with the tax credit,” said Philip L. Aquila Jr., president of Western New York Real Estate Information Services, which runs the multiple listing service for the Association of Realtors. “We anticipated it being slow, and it is slow. It’s catching up to us.”
- Nation’s rate of homeownership still at lowest level in a decade - AP/Buffalo News
- Freddie Mac posts $4.1B loss for Q3 - AP/Buffalo News
- New home sales are up...barely - Christian Science Monitor
   New home sales numbers are so weak that it looks like the Homebuyer Tax Credit actually hurt more than it helped. [Census press release here]

Region’s manufacturing jumps - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   ... A report by a local purchasing managers group released Tuesday found that activity at the region’s Factory factories jumped sharply in October after declining for the first time in 11 months during September.
   A sharp jump in production and a strong flow of new orders combined with growing inventories to offset continued weakness in employment and soaring commodity prices.
   “The index paints a somewhat uncertain, although maybe slightly optimistic, outlook,” said Mikhail I. Melnik, a Niagara University economist.
   “We will continue to expand during the course of 2010, although at a decreasing rate,” Melnik said. “2011, however, is shaping up to be a complex year. We are likely to see continued slowing growth in the first half of the year, followed by a rise in inflation in the second half of the year.”

Mod-Pac’s profits hold steady - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   Mod-Pac Corp.’s third-quarter profits held steady, even though lower sales of the Buffalo printing company’s folding cartons led to a nearly 2 percent dip in revenues. 

 - Stalemate in Congress might not be bad for economy - AP/Buffalo News
   On its own, the economy is showing slow but steady improvement. Consumers and businesses are spending a bit more. Some companies are hiring. And most economists expect those gains to continue.
   For both Democrats and Republicans, the inability to do much for the next two years may not be such a bad policy for the economy. ...
   "If the economy sticks to the script, (gridlock) is not a major problem," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.
   The danger, Zandi says, is if the economy should take a turn for the worse.
   "If the economy doesn't cooperate and starts to backtrack, then this will become a problem," he says. "Policymakers will not be able to respond, and they'll need to."

   Just hang on to the house:


-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


Auto Industry | Current Affairs | Housing market | Manufacturing | The Economy
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