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Friday, June 24, 2016

Consumer Sentiment Fell in May

Consumer sentiment fell to 93.5 in June, down 1.2 points from the previous month, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.


The Current Economic Conditions Index improved 0.9 points to 110.8, while the Index of Consumer Expectations fell 2.5 points to 82.4.


“Consumer were a bit less optimistic in late June due to rising concerns about prospects for the national economy,” said Richard Curtin, Chief Economist of UM Surveys of Consumers.

“While no recession is anticipated, consumers increasingly expect a slower pace of economic growth in the year ahead. Importantly, the persistent strength in personal finances will keep the level of consumer spending at relatively high levels and continue to support uninterrupted economic expansion.”

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Durable Goods Orders Fell in May

New orders for manufactured durable goods fell 2.2% to $230.7 billion in May, following a 3.3% April increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The majority of the month’s decrease was driven by a 5.6% decline in new orders for transportation equipment. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.3%.



New orders excluding defense decreased 0.9% on the month, as orders of nondefense capital goods fell 0.8% to $68.5 billion, which was partially offset by a 1.0% increase in new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods fell 0.2% in May to $231.7 billion, after a 0.4% April increase.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods fell 0.3% to $382.5 billion, following a 0.4% April decrease. Inventories have now declined for ten of the last eleven months.

Read the Census release.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Home Sales Fell in May

New single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The May rate is 6.0% below the revised April estimate of 586,000, but 8.7% above the May 2015 estimate.


Sales were mixed across regions, falling 33.3% in the Northeast, 0.9% in the South and 15.6% in the West. In contrast, sales in the Midwest rose by 12.9%.

The median price of a new home was $290,400, down 9.3% from April. The average price was $358,000, down 5.1% from the previous month.

At the end of May there was an estimated supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate, up from a 4.9 month supply in April.

Read the Census/HUD release.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Pace in Nine Years

Existing home sales rose 1.8% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million, the highest pace in nine years according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The May reading follows April’s downwardly revised rate of 5.43 million. Annual sales of existing homes were mixed across regions, rising 4.1% in the Northeast, 4.6% in the South and 5.4% in the West, but falling 6.5% in the Midwest.


“This spring’s sustained period of ultra-low mortgage rates has certainly been a worthy incentive to buy a home, but the primary driver in the increase in sales is more homeowners realizing the equity they’ve accumulated in recent years and finally deciding to trade-up or downsize,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “With first-time home buyers still struggling to enter the market, repeat buyers using the proceeds from the sale of their previous home as their down payment are making up the bulk of home purchases right now.”

The median existing-home price moved up to $239,700, a 4.7% increase from May 2015.

Distressed sales slipped 1 point to 6% of sales in May. Five percent of May sales were foreclosures, while 1% were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 12% and 11% respectively.

Read the NAR release.
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Housing Starts Slipped in May

Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.164 million in May, 0.3% below the revised April estimate of 1.167 million, but 9.5% above the May 2015 rate. Housing starts have remained above the 1.0 million rate for 14 consecutive months.


Housing activity was mixed across regions in May. Starts fell 33.3% in the Northeast and 2.5% in the Midwest, but rose 1.5% in the South and 14.4% in the West.


New building permits rose during the month, rising 0.7% above April’s rate to 1.138 million. New permits, however, declined year-over-year, falling 10.1% below the May 2015 rate.

Housing completions rose in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.988 million, 5.1% above April’s rate but down 3.5% from a year ago.

Read the Census release.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Builder Confidence Increased in June

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose 2 points to 60 points in June, after remaining unchanged over the previous four months.

“Rising home sales, an improving economy and the fact that the HMI gauge measuring future sales expectations is running at an eight month high are all positive factors indicating that the housing market should continue to move forward in the second half of 2016,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Index components posted gains in June. The index measuring sales conditions rose 1 point to 64, the index measuring buyer traffic rose 3 points to 47 and the index measuring sales expectations in the next six months rose 5 points to 70.

The three month moving averages for regional HMI scores varied. The Northeast fell 2 points to 39, the Midwest fell 1 point to 57, while the West rose 1 point to 68 and the South rose 2 points to 61.

Read the NAHB release.
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CPI Increased 0.2% in May

The consumer price index increased 0.2% in May, as the indexes for energy and all items less food and energy rose during the month. Over the last twelve months, the all items index rose 1.0% before seasonal adjustment.


The energy index increased for the third consecutive month, rising 1.2%. The gasoline index drove the increase, rising 2.3% after an 8.1% increase in April. Fuel oil and natural gas prices also increased, rising 6.2% and 1.7% respectively.

The food index fell 0.2% following a 0.2% gain in April. Prices for food at home fell 0.5%, the fifth decline in the past seven months. Food away from home also fell 0.5% in May.

Prices for all items less food and energy increased 0.2%, the same increase as in April. The advance was primarily due to a rise in the shelter index, which increased 0.4%, its largest advance since February 2007.

Read the BLS release.
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