Barry Ritholtz of Fusion IQ and The Big Picture blog thinks the talk of a housing recovery and a general economic recovery are very premature, and that what we’re experiencing now is relief that we avoided financial Armageddon — not real forward movement.
“When I hear the word soar,” Ritholtz tells Yahoo! TechTicker in discussing reports of May’s supposedly “soaring” housing starts, “I think of eagles flying in the sky, not, ‘We were at ankle height and now we’re at knee height. That’s not exactly soaring. … The good news is the free fall has more or less stopped and the parachute is open and now we’re falling. We’re still descending, but much more slowly. So put it into context — better than it was but not showing the right direction.”
As for talk of a second-half 2009 economic recovery, Ritholtz says that is “nonsensical”, with key recovery signs — inventory building, hiring, capital expenditure spending — all missing. As for the stock market, Ritholtz — who turned quite bullish earlier this year — is still 70% in stocks, but he thinks a pullback is a distinct possibility later this year.