Retail outlook, 2014: It is still all about the housing market, location and e-commerce
The big economic story of 2013 was the return of the housing market versus the negative impact of fiscal policy. With strong gains that began in 2012, the housing market was poised at the beginning of last year to seriously bolster an anemic economic recovery. The weakness of the economy since the Great Recession, of course, was partially due to a housing market that had remained missing in action. Certainly, the depth of the economic havoc wrought by the recession and the deleveraging nature of the downturn were huge factors that we will continue to work through for years to come. But the near complete absence of the housing market dictated that recovery could never accelerate beyond a snail’s pace at best.
Yet, heading into last year, all indicators were up for housing. The only question was whether this rebound would be strong enough and deep enough to boost GDP from the relatively weak low 2 percent range where it had been hovering up to the 3 percent mark more typical