IN FOCUS: Trending – Year to close strongly

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 :: Features
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

The upward trajectory of the U.S. economy and markets has continued through mid-November, setting the stage for a strong finish to the year. With most upwards trends having started many months ago, 2013 will go into the books as a prime example of the old adage, “Let the trend be your friend.”

So what will 2014 hold? If history is any indication, trends are often difficult to stop. And as much as there has been a supportive trend in the U.S. equity markets, there have been many examples of downward trending markets as well. Look no further than the bond market, the foreign emerging markets or the commercial real estate market as examples of downtrends.

clearTREND offers monthly market analysis and research on Northeast Wisconsin’s key economic sectors. This month, we highlight the business services and small business financing sectors of the economy – both currently show generally positive trends. We also feature Calumet County.

This month’s clearTREND U.S. Economic Health IndexTM shows continued strength, with 73 percent of U.S. economic sectors expanding (up from 66 percent a month ago). Couple that with a sizable drop in the number of contracting sectors: now only 9 percent compared to 21 percent in November.

“The drop in contracting sectors is good news,” says Mark Scheffler of The Appleton Group. “Despite everything we hear about the dire state of the economy, our data clearly shows improvement.”

Click here to view this month’s economic data in our digital issue.