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U.S. Credit Rating May Have Less Impact on Mississippi Housing Market Than Jobs

By Rhonda Miller | Published 08 Aug 2011 07:28pm | comments
Darrin Webb is the State Economist for Mississippi.

Standard & Poor’s downgrading of America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ is one more factor adding to general nervousness about the economy. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports Mississippi’s economic health likely depends more on jobs than on a national credit rating.

Ocean Springs realtor Fred Moran says it’s likely to take a while for the national credit rating to be felt in the Mississippi housing market. Interest rates on mortgages are hovering around an historic low of four percent. Moran says housing sales across the state will continue to depend mostly on employment.

"And it’s hard for Mississippi because we’ve always has somewhat of a geographically distinct job market. We’ve got parts of Mississippi that are more rural. And then you've got parts of Mississippi, obviously, around the capital area in Jackson. And then you've got the north around Memphis and DeSoto County. As well as the vibrancy that's traditionally been down on the Gulf Coast," Moran said.

Even though the national credit rating may not have an immediate impact, state economist Darrin Webb says consumers have an increasing fear of recession.

"Most measures that we look at do show a deteriorating economy. And that’s increased this fear. Doesn’t mean we’re going to have a recession. Just means the risk of recession is increasing," Webb said.

But while many in Mississippi may be concerned about interest rates rising during an already weak economy, experts point out other credit rating agencies have not changed America’s AAA status.



Darrin Webb is the State Economist for Mississippi.



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