Freddie Mac Releases September 2012 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook
September 13, 2012
Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for September shows consumers and businesses have become more energy efficient thereby dampening the negative impact of recent fuel-price spikes on the economy. Moreover, monetary policy is unlikely to be affected by short-term fuel-price inflation, thus allowing for an extended and favorable interest-rate environment.
- Between 1973 and 2011, energy consumption fell by 0.3 percent (annualized) to 314 million BTUs per capita.
- Fuel economy of passenger cars has also improved, rising from an average of only 13.4 miles per gallon (MPG) in 1973 to 22.6 MPG in 2008.
- Measured relative to square footage, homes built since 2000 have fuel costs that are about 30 percent lower than that of homes built before 1960.
- Anticipate a favorable interest-rate environment to remain at least through the end of this year to help energize the housing market.
- Comparing the first seven months in 2012 with the same period in 2011, home sales are up 8 percent and housing starts have rebounded by 19 percent. Further, second-quarter national house-price indexes have recorded a gain on a year-over-year basis.
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