Seen from above, the economy is doing great. For each of the last two quarters, GPD grew at an annual rate of 3% ― that’s a lot. Exports are growing. The stock market is high. Unemployment is low. The Fed makes optimistic statements about the future and may let interest rates rise.
On the ground, though, there’s less euphoria. In a third of the 320 markets my company Local Market Monitor covers, the number of jobs increased by less than 1% in the past year. In half of those 320 markets, income grew less than inflation. In two-thirds of them, home prices have not fully recovered from the last recession.