Remodeling and Home Design

Housing & Economic Updates


HBA Fox Cities has partnered with Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D., GraphsandLaughs LLC, to bring you informative articles each month on housing- and economy-related issues and insights. 

2018 Forecast
January 2018
The combination of solid, widespread global growth; strong labor markets; low inflation; improving commodity prices; a slightly weaker dollar; and continued easy monetary policy from most central banks sets the stage for a good year. Moreover, the recently passed front-loaded tax cuts here in the US will help by adding a pleasant tailwind to the domestic economy. The possibility of increases in infrastructure and defense spending, along with the continued deregulatory efforts of the Trump administration, make the domestic economic landscape heading into 2018 as strong as it has been since the end of the Great Recession.  The combination of solid, widespread global growth; strong labor markets; low inflation; improving commodity prices; a slightly weaker dollar; and continued easy monetary policy from most central banks sets the stage for a good year. Moreover, the recently passed front-loaded tax cuts here in the US will help by adding a pleasant tailwind to the domestic economy. The possibility of increases in infrastructure and defense spending, along with the continued deregulatory efforts of the Trump administration, make the domestic economic landscape heading into 2018 as strong as it has been since the end of the Great Recession…READ MORE

The Fed's Interest Plan for 2018
February 2018
At the start of 2017, the Federal Reserve anticipated raising interest rates three times and shrinking its large bond portfolio. Unlike in 2015 and 2016, where the forecasts made by the Fed were overly optimistic, the 2017 forecast was spot on. Whether officials at the central bank can pull off a repeat performance of three rate hikes in 2018 will very much depend on two conflicting signals from the two variables that matter most to the Fed: employment and inflation...READ MORE

The Age of Austerity is Over
March 2018
When the Congressional Budget Office made its June 2017 forecast of our fiscal future, it projected a deficit of $689 billion in FY2019. The deficit is now poised to be $1.2 trillion, a dramatic and profound change that is hard to overstate. One major reason for the growing deficit is that the GOP tax cut that passed in late December is estimated to reduce revenue by $1 trillion over the next decade, even after pro-growth economic effects are factored in. The other reason is the budget deal passed by Congress in early February, includes $300 billion in new spending over two years, along with $90 billion in hurricane relief, fully financed by larger deficits...READ MORE

Jobs: They're Not What They Used to Be
April 2018
During every business cycle, economies experience job losses followed by subsequent job gains such that, in time, all job losses are made up, and then some. Between January 2008 and February 2010, almost nine million jobs were lost, but by January 2013 the number of employed Americans had almost fully recovered. The typical good news story, right? Not so fast; the educational attainment of the persons employed in the "recovered" jobs were dramatically different than those in the "lost" jobs. This has profound social and economic implications....READ MORE

Trade Wars: It's All About Leverage
May 2018
With the US-China trade war looking increasingly ominous, two questions are on the minds of many: do trade deficits matter and which side has more to lose? Economists of almost all stripes agree that trade is good, that trade deficits don't really matter, that the nation that imposes tariffs hurts itself, and that if it faces retaliation, the harm is made worse. That said, why is Trump threatening steep tariffs on Chinese imports? That relates to the second question: China has much more to lose economically in an all-out trade war than the US. But that is not the end of the story...READ MORE





Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D.
is President of GraphsandLaughs, LLC. His daily 70-word economics and policy blog can be seen at econ70.com. Dr. Eisenberg is a nationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making the arcana and minutia of economics fun, relevant and educational. He earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg, a former Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., is the creator of the multifamily stock index (the first nationally recognized index to track the total return of public firms principally involved in the ownership and management of apartments), the author of more than eighty-five articles, serves on the Expert Advisory Board of Mortgage Market Guide and is a regular consultant to several large real estate professional associations, hedge funds and investment advisory groups. He has spoken to hundreds of business groups and associations, often as keynote speaker. Dr. Eisenberg has been invited to testify before lawmakers and is often asked to comment on proposed legislation. His research and opinions have been featured in Bloomberg, Business Week, Bureau of National Affairs, Forbes, Fortune, and many other publications. He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio.