The polar vortex that chilled most of the nation this week could cost the US billions. But it shouldn’t plunge the economy as low as the temperatures.
Predictions for 2014 economy are generally upbeat, with analysts seeing growing picking up and the bull market in stocks continuing. But the economy won't get back to normal in the new year, despite the positive predictions for 2014.
The Federal Reserve and Fed Chief Ben Bernanke surprised Wall Street by announcing the Fed would not reduce its stimulus purchases to boost the economy. Because mortgage rates had surged in anticipation of a Fed move, Wednesday's announcement could send mortgage rates down and give the housing market a big bounce.
President Obama wants to reduce the government's role in the mortgage giant by phasing out mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The idea has broad support, but interest rates on home loans would go up, especially for low-income families.
A government index of home prices saw a modest gain of 0.3 percent in July, in a hopeful sign for the housing market.