NewOak says devilish 2012 economy lies in the details
Uncertainty over the housing market and legacy mortgage litigation will continue to impact the American economy and housing recovery in 2012, according to NewOak Capital Advisors. The financial advisory firm said while December job figures beat analyst expectations with 200,000 jobs added, that employment uptick is not enough to defuse all of the landmines that could trip up the economy in 2012. James Frischling, president and co-founder of NewOak Capital, said the devil is in the details. Even though America's unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% last month, that improvement could be short lived. "First, much of the increase appears to be very seasonally driven as hiring in the transportation and warehouse sectors rose sharply. Companies like FedEx increased its staff to handle the volume of shipments and are now expected to back off on those positions," Frischling said. "You also have the nearly 350,000 people that dropped out of the labor force in November which contributed to the improving unemployment rate. Seasonal hiring and a downward trending workforce may provide for attractive headlines, but it really doesn't bode well for the over 13 million people that are still unemployed," he added. While uncertainty over future employment figures remains a burden on the housing market, it's not the only factor curbing New Oak optimism for 2012. The firm says foreclosures, political gridlock, tougher regulations and legacy mortgage litigation could impede economic growth throughout the next year. "We should not forget that several trillion in planned budget cuts are still ahead," said Ron D'Vari, CEO of NewOak Capital Advisors. "The impact of the slowdown in BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China ), jointly due to the European crisis and their own natural economic evolution, may not be compensated by the U.S. economy and emerging markets." Write to Kerri Panchuk.