May Showed A 5% Increase In Builder Confidence

A monthly index compiled by The National Association of Home Builders showed a 5 point gain in May, making it the highest this index has been since May of 2007. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) shows an improving housing outlook due to current market conditions.  The HMI gauges home builder’s confidence by asking them to rate current single-family home sales, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers for the next 6 months. All three categories had a gain in confidence amongst builders.

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Bank Lending Projections for 2012

A 2011 survey of bankers around the world showed that 74% planned to increase lending in 2012. The survey contained some other revealing data about bank lending for the year:

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Bank Lending Up 15% From 2011 to 2012

The Wall Street Journal is reporting an increase in business lending from March of 2011 to April of 2012. Commercial banks lent out 15% more loans to businesses during this period. By the end of April of 2012, business lending was up 9 out of 10 weeks. As market conditions improve and banks continue to ease lending criteria we will see a positive trend for those businesses that would like to secure loans.

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Mortgage Applications On The Rise

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 1.7% increase in mortgage applications from the last week in April to the week ending on May 4th, 2012. The data was drawn from the MBA’s Market Composite Index to show this gain from week to week.  There were other positive improvements during this period:

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Recall: Gems Sensors’ Pressure Transducers

The CPSC and Gems Sensors have issued a recall of Gems 3100 Pressure Detectors/Transducers. The units can fail under the event of a fire. The recall is in effect for approximately 25,000 units.

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Survey Points To Better Business Climate

According to a national survey of American companies, 39% of businesses expect hiring will increase within the next 6 months for their company and industry. The National Association of Business Economics survey is showing improvements from the 27% of positive responses from this January. The survey also showed that 44% of company respondents expect an increase in wages and salaries, up from 26% in January.

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SBA Reports Record Lending

The Small Business Administration has set record level lending for 2011. There were a reported 62,000 loans approved for the year. This means a record of almost $31 billion was loaned out to small businesses throughout the U.S.

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Recall: Sakar Battery Chargers

The CPSC and Sakar International have issued a recall for two models of battery chargers. The charger’s energized components can be exposed and become a shock hazard. The recall is in effect for approximately 4,000 units.

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Franchise Lending Steadily Increasing

The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Franchise Lending Index showed a 10.56% increase in loans from February of 2011 to February of 2012. This shows renewed access to credit for individuals purchasing or expanding a franchise. The data points to a positive upswing in the availability of loans to potential franchisees.

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March Employment Showed Healthy Gains

The Wall Street Journal reports that 209,000 private sector employees were hired in March of 2012. January and February also saw improvement in these numbers showing steady growth for this year’s job market. During the past 12 months The U.S. has seen 2 million workers employed by private businesses.

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