As I reported in MGIC’s Market Trend Analysis Report, the US economy grew at a somewhat slower rate over the first 2 quarters of the year. Some of this was due to the weaker global economy, stock market corrections, potential fallout from the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and even uncertainties surrounding the upcoming US presidential election. Still, the fundamentals behind the economy appear to be encouraging and should result in stronger economic growth through the end of the year, according to most economists.

Employment gains slowed as we entered 2016, our seventh year of economic expansion and slowly approach full employment. Some of the strongest increases were reported in California, Florida, Texas, New York and Massachusetts. The number of job openings is on the rise, and some employers are reporting a difficult time filling open positions. This should attract more workers back into the workforce as well as lead to stronger wage growth.

Even though it did not lead the recovery, housing remains a key economic driver. The housing market continued to show improvement with solid gains forecast for 2016. The U.S. is on pace for total home sales to reach 6 million for the year, almost a 4% increase from the 2015 total. Nationally, home prices continue to appreciate in the 5% to 6% range, similar to the rate reported a year earlier. With the supply of both new and existing homes near 5 months, home prices are likely to rise further.

Based on the data and the forecasts we are reading, the overall economic outlook remains positive for the remainder of the year. For more specific market details, please see the full Market Trend Analysis Report.

Neil Siegel

Neil Siegel - MGIC Sr. Risk Analyst

Neil has been with Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation for 35 years. His primary area of responsibility is using research, analysis and statistical data to monitor the economic and housing sectors of markets across the country for the purpose of determining acceptable risk levels for the company. This includes numerous on-site market inspections as well as meeting with local experts.

Many of these findings are found in MGIC’s quarterly Market Trend Analysis Report or special risk reports that are based on recent economic changes. He also acts as the company’s review appraiser as well as monitoring the attached housing book of business.

Prior to joining MGIC, he was an independent real estate appraiser performing appraisals and feasibility studies on commercial, industrial and residential developments. Neil received his degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics.

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