Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

News on North Carolina’s job market

Jobs and unemployment are the most important economic factors for most people. In his latest Economic Perspective, Dr. Mike Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist, says a recent jobs report for North Carolina is encouraging.

Retail sales

The latest national report on retail sales showed consumers actually spent less in June compared to May. Since consumer spending is such an important part of the economy, is this bad news? Extension economist Mike Walden shares his point of view.

Consumer prices

Inflation — how fast the prices of common products go up — is important to most households. What is the latest status of inflation? Is it good or bad? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, weighs in.

Why can’t economists agree?

Everyone is looking for answers to today’s economic situation. Policy makers often turn to economists for advice on what to do, but economists don’t always give the same answer. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains why.

Are home prices still too high?

Some economists see the direction of home prices as a key factor for the fledgling economic recovery. The big question both sellers and buyers want to know is with prices down almost 30 percent over the past three years, have they reached the bottom yet? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, weighs in.

Is debt a problem for everyone?

Economists have pointed out that American households took on substantial debt over the past 30 years. Many households are now scrambling to pay down on debt, and this is one reason why consumer spending has been slow. But do all households have to worry about debt? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds.

Social Security payouts

Many people think of Social Security as almost a bank account: You put your money in while working, earn some interest and then withdraw the funds when you are retired. But is that the way Social Security operates? NCSU’s Dr. Mike Walden responds.

Are we still competitive?

Most people know the economy has become globalized and the United States is in direct competition with other countries for jobs and production. Some say we are losing this race; others say no. Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, takes a look at what the numbers say.

Cautionary statistics

It is often said you can prove anything with statistics. This is why some people avoid looking at information and data and concentrate on what they feel or believe instead. Should we always raise an eyebrow when presented with statistical information? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds.

Getting home sales back up

After some good months home sales seem to have slipped again. Nationally sales are still off by double-digit rates compared to before the recession. What’s it going to take to get home sales back up? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds.

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