Texans send mixed Signals about the Economy


Debt

We keep telling you the economy is booming; unemployment is at its lowest in fifty years. But a look at what Texans search for with Google seems to suggest the happy days aren't trickling down.

Texans are searching for things like "debt snowball" and "consolidate debt." Rice Professor John Diamond says that doesn't sound good.

"Obviously, when you start searching for terms like 'debt snowball' that's got a pretty negative connotation to it; it probably indicates a serious problem."

But Michael Smith at Houston's STA Wealth Management says that may actually be a sign of an improving economy.

"Businesses are actually hiring; small businesses are hiring more now than they have in the past ten years."

Smith says Texans are doing well enough now to actually pay off their debts, rather than just manage debt as they did for the past decade.

"For the first time in a decade you've actually seen real wages increasing; this could signal a lot of Americans are now looking to pay down their debt."

Professor Diamond says if it does signal something bad it may not be as irresponsible as it sounds.

"They may be making the decision that it's better to consume now than later and that's just how they view it."

Professor Diamond says some employers aren't giving raises, they're increasing benefits.


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