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Will 2014 bring debt relief?

These days, most residents of Broward County, Florida, might agree that good news is appreciated wherever it can be found. Now that the new year is here and everyone seems to be taking inventory of the highlights and more trying times of 2013, it may help to gain a little perspective of how the country is doing economically and what Americans can expect for the year ahead.

As millions of Americans continued to struggle with the prospect of filing chapter 7 bankruptcy in October, the federal government shut down for weeks. The future of the national economy, as well as the financial state of many families, seemed very uncertain during that period. Now, however, there is evidence to suggest that American consumers are beginning to have more confidence in the economy and their own futures. According to the index of consumer attitudes provided by the Conference Board, consumer attitudes are on the rise, pointing to more positive outlooks regarding employment rates in debt relief. And in response to economists that suggest 2014 will bring further economic growth, consumer hopes are not unfounded.

On the grand scale, U. S. manufacturing is on the slow road to recovery, while particular areas of the country are having a more difficult time rebounding. The same can be said for the national housing market, which is seeing progress rise and fall. Home sales have begun to taper off at the same time as home prices have begun to rise. Even so, it’s estimated that new home construction will continue in the coming year.

Source: Reuters, “U. S. consumer mood brightens, but home price gains slow,” Steven C. Johnson, Dec. 31, 2013

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