It seems like all the recovery's leading indicators are all gaining momentum, except housing and employment.
Manufacturing, Architectural, and Restaurant Indexes all increased in March, as did Personal Consumption Expenditures. U.S. Light Vehicle Sales also increased. Shadow Inventory declines. Consumer Sentiment is up. Small Businesses are feel better about the future, etc. All indicators are showing the recovery is on it's way, EXCEPT HOUSING and EMPLOYMENT.
But not all housing and employment. Housing in the hardest hit areas, like Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, etc is having the most trouble recovering Other areas like the Northeast, real estate is starting to pick up. I've noticed houses in my neighborhood that were on the market for over a year are starting to sell. And as for employment, it's the longterm unemployed, the "typewriter" generation that remains unemployed. It's a unique feature that many economist have pointed out about this recession. People who are one or two months unemployed are finding jobs quickly, as are the young. It who have been 26 plus weeks unemployed, who aren't finding employment. It the IPad vs. Typewriter phenomena.
On the bright side, U.S. housing is expected to trough, even in the hardest hit areas, in the fourth quarter of 2011, and that's when employment should start gaining some momentum. Until then expect unemployment to remain elevated, above 8%.
Also on the bright side, the stock market is cranking following consumer confidence. It appears that the 91% of the population that is employed is feeling better and spending. Consumer confidence and the market's performance are linked given the consumer's importance to economic growth.