ECI Undercuts Fed Swagger


The Employment Cost Index (ECI), which is widely considered the “best” measure of overall wage gains by the Federal Reserve, disappointed in the second quarter. Fees and commissions, which buoyed first quarter gains, slowed fairly dramatically along with outlays for benefits Read More »

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Revisions Smooth Path of Growth


The overall economy expanded at a 2.3% pace in the second quarter after rising at an upwardly revised 0.6% pace in the first quarter. Benchmark revisions, which incorporate new data and attempt to deal with the first quarter seasonal problems, helped to smooth the path of growth in recent years. Read More »

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Aircraft Orders Buoy Durable Goods


Durable goods orders rose 3.4% in June after contracting a more-than-previously-reported 2.1% in May. A 66% surge in the highly volatile aircraft sector accounted for much of the gain. Read More »

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Premium for New vs Existing Home Price


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New Home Sales Lower on Weakness in South and West


New home sales fell to a 482,000 unit annualized pace In June, down 35,000 from May. That drop came on top of a 29,000 downward revision to the previous month. Sales in three of the four regions in the country were lower, Read More »

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Existing Home Prices Hit New Highs


The median sales price for existing homes increased 6.5% in June from last year. That increase pushed prices above the previous peak set back in July 2006. Sales volume increased to 5.5 million last month, a level not seen since February 2007. Demand continued to outpace supply, Read More »

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Housing Primer


Watch this week’s housing market data closely for key trends:

1. Was it a fluke that first-time buyers increased in May, in both relative and absolute terms?

Millennials were reluctant/unable to buy (or even leave their parent’s homes) earlier in the expansion. A critical issue will be whether the volume of first-time buyers in the market continues to rise Read More »

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Multifamily Market Hot: Inflation Tepid


Housing starts rebounded to a 1.174 million-unit pace in June, while the decline for May was slightly less than initially reported. Gains were concentrated in the multi-family market as builders are still rushing to meet what they see as a permanent shift by millennials to move to urban centers and delay marriage and having children; they seem to prefer little if no space to live in. This is becoming problematic for the single-family market, Read More »

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Production Still Tepid


The index for industrial production rose 0.3% in June, slightly better than expected. Much of the increase, however, was concentrated in the utilities and mining sectors as opposed to manufacturing, Read More »

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Retail Sales Disappoint


Retail sales dropped 0.3% in June, as a drop in vehicle sales contributed to weakness across the board. The only categories to post major gains were electronics and appliance stores sales, gasoline station sales, and spending at discount stores. Moreover, sales for the previous month, which had been relatively robust, were revised down slightly. This takes some of the second wind we thought we were seeing Read More »

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