Monday, March 24, 2008

Two news reports from a local NH TV station that describe the condition of the economy

The Whitehouse assesment of the state of the economy is one full of positive spin. I suppose this is what you would expect for anyone trying to make the job they are doing look I suppose we might want to just consider that when we read it.

But there were two articles that came across my email today that make me wonder how things are going. I don't know if they are leading or lagging indicators....but I assume that might be the latter.

The first talk about the number of homeless in NH doubling in the latest "one day count" just recently taken. The state apparently takes this count on the same day every year in an attempt to have a standard metric of measurement. The count of homeless is taken on January 30th, and this year's count showed 2600 people vs 1300 for last year. (with 484 of them sleeping on the streets and not in shelters) A two fold rise is a significant increase for sure, especially since the article noted that the numbers have been essentially FLAT for the past 3 years. What's going on? The winter wasn't that warm that people flocked to NH to be homeless here as opposed to a southern state.

The second article I read today talk about the increased debt load that college students are now taking on as opposed to students in the past. It turns out the the average student has about $20,000 in debt upon graduation.....with credit card debt averaging about $3300. Several "experts" noted that they felt today's students had too many credit cards and too much card debt.

The article noted:
Overall, 46 percent of students and 55 percent of former students were reported delinquent on credit card payments. Lowe said she was surprised that 21 percent of college freshmen were at least four months behind on their credit card payments. She also said she was shocked that 42 percent of students had at least six open major credit cards, not including store-issued cards or gasoline cards. "The delinquency shows that they really don't know the consequences of what happens when they don't pay their credit card bills," Lowe said. The consequences include lower credit ratings, which could affect their chances of renting an apartment, getting a job, getting another student loan, or after graduation, buying a home.
Six credit cards.....yikes, I have two and never use one holding it as a back-up. It sounds as though some of them are going from one to the other in order to juggle between them. That seems like financial quicksand to me!

Even with the $3300 credit card debt, it would take 11 years to pay that off with minimum payments. (and not adding at all to the much longer if you do) this a leading or lagging decide.

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Theirs nothing like the current economic situation.

5:05 PM EST  

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