Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sandy Hits Income and Spending in October

Personal income was basically flat in October compared to September, while consumer spending slipped 0.2%. Disruptions created by Superstorm Sandy took a toll on private wages and salaries. It is unclear whether the storm affected transfer payments, but it appears that it did. We do know that shuttered government buildings and electrical outages delayed claims [...]

Headline GDP not as “Good” as It Looks

Real GDP was revised up to 2.7% in the third quarter from an initial estimate of 2.0%. Much of the increase can be attributed to upward revisions in inventories, which will need to be drained later in the year, and stronger-than-initially reported export growth. Imports were weaker, meaning a larger contribution to GDP growth from [...]

New Home Sales Tread Water in October

New home sales fell marginally to 368,000 in October from September, after being revised down sharply for September. The decline was concentrated in the South and Northeast; both were affected by Superstorm Sandy at the end of the month. More storm disruptions are expected to show up in the data for November. Separately, new home [...]

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Rises Again in September

The Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city composite indices of home prices rose 2.1% and 3%, respectively. This adds to the evidence reported in other home price measures, underlining that housing prices have finally bottomed and are turning around again. Gains were most pronounced in some of the hardest-hit markets, such as Phoenix, San Diego and Las [...]

Durable Goods Orders Tread Water

Durable goods orders increased by a negligible amount in October, as a rise in defense orders offset weakness in transportation.  Core capital goods orders (ex-defense and aircraft), which more closely track business investment, rose a slightly stronger 1.7%.  Indeed, the only sector to post major gains was communications equipment;  this likely reflected increased purchases of [...]

Housing Starts Continue to Rise

Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 894,000 in October, with all of those increases concentrated in the multifamily market. This is a reversal from last month, when housing market gains were concentrated in single-family starts, which create a much larger bang for the dollar in terms of jobs generated. Apartment REITs [...]

Notes on the Federal Reserve

A few talking points, ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on Tuesday: First, we expect the Fed to decide on an extension of Operation Twist, or at least to roll over the assets into more Treasuries. This will be the case because the Fed has repeatedly argued that discontinuing existing programs would likely [...]

Home Sales Rise in October; Sandy Likely to Dampen November Sales

Existing home sales rose to a 4.79 million-unit, annualized rate in October after being revised down for the month of September. Sales in the Northeast fell slightly, while gains were posted elsewhere in the county. Superstorm Sandy was believed to have only a modest impact on sales in October, despite the fact that the weakness [...]

Sandy Hit Industrial Production

Industrial production declined by 0.4% in October after being revised down to a 0.2% gain (previously 0.4%) in September. Losses associated with what is being called “Superstorm Sandy” shaved nearly one percent from the total, which means that production would have been solidly in the black, absent the storm. Losses were concentrated in manufacturing of [...]

Rents Push Consumer Price Index Higher

Consumer prices edged up 0.1% in October, with shelter (rents) rising at the fastest pace since March 2008. Airfares also surged but have fallen a bit in the wake of Sandy as air carriers scrambled to recoup business lost during the devastating storm. Vehicle and energy prices dropped, a trend that should continue and help [...]