I keep hearing the news about how awful things are. Shopping is down. Restaurant meals are down. While I think that might be true in some areas it doesn’t seem to be the case here. Every time I drive by a restaurant it seems to be loaded to the gills with people. About the only thing that makes me think we’re in a downturn is all the foreclosure notices in the paper and all the houses with for sale signs that last a long, long time.
When I was Christmas shopping I did notice a smaller crowd at the mall, but certainly not a huge difference. And in my after holiday shopping I noticed the shops as busy as ever. Maybe my little area has been insulated so far from the worst of it? Even though our city was flooded this summer most of the city was left untouched (or who knows, all this rebuilding might be promoting a bubble) and especially the two biggest employers in town. They didn’t have any flood problems and they haven’t even laid off any people yet. Perhaps that is cushioning the area? I’m not sure really, but I’m not seeing a huge impact yet.
Maybe part of this is the because we don’t get the crazy swings up and down like a lot of places. We don’t see 30% per year increases in our housing values, but that also means we don’t see the same declines either. Things are much more level and even keeled here than a lot of places. I’d be interested in what some of you are seeing around the country.