Signs point to promising future for 2024 economy

A flurry of economic news unveiled Thursday is painting a brighter future for 2024.

Mortgage rates dropped below 7% for the first time since August, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, announced. The Commerce Department also released its latest retail sales report showing a 0.3% bump in November following a decline in October, marking a 4.1% jump in sales from this time last year.

More new numbers from the Labor Department show weekly jobless claims are the lowest in nearly two months, with 202,000 people filing initial claims for unemployment insurance last week, about 20,000 less than economists expected.

The markets opened strong Thursday, just a day after the Dow Jones hit a record high, as Wall Street investors celebrated the Federal Reserve pausing interest rate hikes Wednesday.

Fed officials are predicting up to three rate cuts in 2024 and anticipate inflation to inch closer to its 2% target next year, falling between 2.4%-2.6%.

The resilient economy, faced with a steady jobs market and wage growth outpacing inflation, has some financial advisers expecting more good news in 2024.

“I think it’s a really positive outlook when it comes to jobs,” said JeFreda Brown, the CEO and founder of Xaris Financial Enterprises. “Here’s a massive demand for new services and products.”

Brown added that while a recession is still a possibility next year, “if people plan well with their finances and get ahead of any type of recession that could be possibly coming … they won’t be impacted.”