Was 2013 Really a Good Year?

How good a year was it for the economy? Statistics tell the tale.

Was 2013 a terrific year for stocks? Absolutely. The good news wasn’t limited to Wall Street, however: the unemployment rate fell, the economy revved up, home prices rose and inflation pressure was minimal.

Bulls triumphed. Christmas Eve brought the Dow’s 49th record close of 2013: 16,357.55. The S&P 500 settled at 1,833.32 on December 24 – a new all-time peak – while the NASDAQ ended the day at 4,155.42. The YTD gains on Christmas Eve were stunning: DJIA, 24.83%; S&P, 28.55%; NASDAQ, 37.62%. As you read this, these indices may have climbed even higher since.1,2

GDP improved. Our economy expanded just 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, but things got better in 2013. The Bureau of Economic Analysis measured GDP at 1.1% for Q1, 2.5% for Q2 and 4.1% for Q3.3

The job market began to turn around. In November, the jobless rate hit a 5-year low of 7.0%. From August through November, non-farm payrolls grew by an average of 204,000 jobs per month, compared to average growth of 159,000 new jobs a month from April to July.4

Homes grew more valuable. In late November, the September edition of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 13.3% year-over-year gain. Prices hadn’t risen so dramatically in a 12-month period since February 2006.5

The Consumer Price Index barely rose. It was flat in November, and that put yearly consumer inflation at only 1.2%; the annualized gain in the core CPI was also minor at 1.7%. As recently as the summer of 2011, consumer inflation was approaching 4%.6

The recovery seemed to acquire more momentum. After years of troubling economic developments, 2013 was refreshingly positive. If the economy hasn’t quite healed yet to where it was before the recession, indicators such as these suggest it won’t be long until that day.
1 – foxbusiness.com/markets/2013/12/24/stock-futures-steady-ahead-durable-goods-data/ [12/24/13]
2 – usatoday.com/money/markets/overview/ [12/24/13]
3 – money.cnn.com/2013/12/20/news/economy/gdp-report/index.html [12/20/13]
4 – cbsnews.com/news/unemployment-rate-dips-to-7-percent/ [12/7/13]
5 – tinyurl.com/jvl25lh [11/26/13]
6 – marketwatch.com/story/consumer-prices-unchanged-in-november-2013-12-17 [12/17/13]

This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., for Mark Lund, The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing 401k consulting for small businesses and private investment advisory services for select individuals. Stonecreek is located in Salt Lake City and Provo Utah.