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Mixed Business Signals

Just a few thoughts on the current economic climate. The stock market, while it has been up and down this past week, has shown some strength. The stock brokers are coming out of the shadows and are encouraging investors to jump back in.

The real estate market, at least in some parts of the country, is making a comeback. In the Phoenix metro area, homes under $250,000, in a clean and updated condition, are hot items. As an example, our real estate division listed a home; and within the first hour, we had 3 cash offers from investors. One another offer we just presented, the listing agent has already received 5 offers in two days. The downside is that almost 50% of the homes in the metro area are still “upside down”, owing more on their mortgage than their home is  worth.

Unemployment nationwide is still over 8% and the true figure may be well over 10% if those that don’t qualify for unemployment and those that just gave up, are counted.

New business starts appear to be on the increase. Many are home based businesses started primarily on a hope and a prayer. Low cost franchises are also gaining a  market share, but I am not sure if anyone else except those offering the franchise will make money.

I am still concerned with major issues that still face our nation, with number one being the Health care package currently being looked at by the Supreme Count. Very few of us know exactly what is written in the plan and I see it as a possible destructive force in our recovery. Other concerns include the cutting of our defense budget and the space exploration budget. The rising gas prices and food prices are also giving us “caution” signals.

That being said, small business growth is still alive and well. The caveat is to stay financially responsible, and carefully identify future trends so that you are providing goods and services that will be in demand. Cash is still king and you should have enough of a reserve to allow for unexpected changes in our economy. A business can still grow if dollars to be spent are saved and elbow grease is used.

I have faith in the future of our Country. We may have to go back to the habits of our forefathers, but we will grow profitable and strong again.

Leaders not only know where they are going; they also know how to get there.

Nick J. Petra        subscribe to this daily blog at

Have a Blessed Easter



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