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The Numbers: Jobs Growth Expectations, Mortgage Delinquencies, and Economic Policies

CHICAGO — A new report from NYSE Euronext provides some economic encouragement. Top executives for 62% of public companies and 71% of private firms expect to expand their businesses and add jobs in 2012, a move counter to growing uncertainty of the economy and political instability. This is the first report from NYSE Euronext to include private or emerging companies and MBA students that the NYSE dubs “aspiring corporate leaders.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the congressional so-called Super Committee failed to come to an agreement on a deficit reduction plan, leading to a drop on the stock market and continued debate as to the cause of the committee’s inaction. The main stumbling block appeared to be the continued tax cuts, rather than higher tax rates, for the upper tier of income earners.

The delinquency rates on mortgage loans were down in the third quarter of 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The seasonally adjusted rate was down from both the second quarter and from a year ago. The serious delinquency rate—those loans that are 90 days or more past due or that are in the foreclosure process—decreased slightly from the second quarter, and was considerably lower than the third quarter of 2010.

Foreclosures were up in October, according to RealtyTrac, to 230,678, an increase of 7.36% from September.

Initial unemployment claims were down for the week ending Nov. 12, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous figure of 393,000, according to Department of Labor reports. The seasonally adjusted data also indicated that the four-week moving average was down from the previous week. Actual unemployment claims totaled 360,139, down 42,355.

The Federal Reserve Districts indicate that overall economic activity continued to expand in September, though most described the growth as modest. Consumer spending was up slightly, with automobile purchases and tourism dollars at the forefront. Construction spending and other business spending were up slightly, though districts indicated that capital spending and hiring were slower than other expenditures.

Current economic policies are cause for concern for most Americans, according to the Surveys of Consumer conducted by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. While consumer confidence improved slightly in October, consumers are pessimistic about their own financial prospects. “The widespread distrust of the President, Congress and the Federal Reserve is now an important cause of pessimism,” says Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist.


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