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Monday, August 1,2011

Ask Gabe

Q: Are there any signs that the economy is improving? I would like to hear good news.

A : I gathered some positive indicators from various media headlines and business resources to bring you positive proof there is good news on the economy if you look for it.

There are plenty of indications the economy is shifting into higher gear. Underwear sales are a good sign: When it’s tougher to find jobs, men wait longer to replace their underwear, and sales - usually very stable - fell nearly 2.5% in 2009. Now they’ve started to stabilize, yet much like the unemployment rate, it’s likely to take a few years to recover to pre-recession levels. Desserts: Apparently what’s good for the economy is bad for the waistline. When the economy is shrinking, restaurant traffic slows, and the diners who do visit full-service eateries hold down their tabs by skipping desserts. Now the National Restaurant Association says more customers are splurging on sweets again- a positive sign they aren’t as worried about losing their jobs. Make mine a double espresso: One of the first things consumers cut out of their budgets when they’re feeling pinched is a jolt of high-priced caffeine served up by their local barista. It’s also one of the little luxuries that consumers find worth shelling out for when they start to feel more comfortable with the direction of the economy. Starbucks’ net revenues increased 9.5% in 2010, after falling 6% in 2009. Flagg me a cab: During recessions, more folks in cities resist the urge to hail a cab, opting to walk or take public transit to their destinations. But in recent months, business has started looking up for cabbies. Car sales are up, too - for those who prefer to drive. Golfers bring their own balls: As the economy picks up, golfers, good and bad, dust off their clubs and head back to the courses they shun during recessions. There are still fewer rounds being played than before the downturn, but the number of visits to golf courses stopped declining in 2010 and even increased in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Wow! You look great! Do you exercise? Few folks actually need a more finely sculpted nose, a tummy tuck or a more buxom figure. When money is tight, elective cosmetic surgery takes a dive. Take heart, docs, demand is reemerging. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says the number of patients who chose to undergo the knife for a better look last year rose by more than 13 million. My divorce attorney was pumping gas but look at him now: The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says its members suffered a 37% drop in divorce cases in 2008 and a 57% decline in 2009. The trend has begun to turn around, with many divorce lawyers saying they’ve got more business than they can handle. In part, that’s because credit has started to loosen up. During the recession, spatting spouses had a tough time arranging the financing to buy out their partner’s stake of businesses and homes, as required by property divisions, so they stuck it out.

(561) 394-7466 • August 2011 •

Email real estate questions to: Call (561)394-7466 to “Ask Gabe” in person.

Gabriel Palotas, HHR Manager, has more than 20 years of real estate experience with a proven record of productivity, quality and integrity. (Lic. FL Real Estate Broker • Nat. Auctioneers Association NAA • Int. Consortium of Real Estate • ICRE Transnational Referral Certification)


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