Category Archives: Economic Alert

Housing Starts Recross Million Mark

Housing starts moved back above the one million unit threshold again in September, after being revised up slightly for August. Multifamily starts accounted for nearly the entire comeback after starts cratered in August.

Industrial Production Surges

Industrial production surged 1.0% in September, more than double market expectations, despite a small downward revision to August. Moreover, gains were fairly broad-based with the exception of the auto industry, which took a breather but is expected to pick up again later in the year. Electronics also took a hit,

Retail Sales Disappoint

Total retail sales slipped 0.3% in September after surging in August. A drop in vehicle sales from a post-recession high was one reason for the weakness. Core retail sales, which exclude the volatile vehicle and gasoline components, also dipped slightly during the month. That was despite a sharp drop in prices at the pump and [...]

Construction Spending Disappoints

Construction spending dropped 0.8% in August after being revised down for the month of July. Losses were distributed between both the private and public sectors. Even private residential construction took a hit, with losses in remodeling offsetting gains in single and multifamily construction. Multifamily construction remains the primary driver in the housing market with increases [...]

Payroll Forecast: Upside Risk to September Employment Numbers

We are looking for nonfarm payrolls to increase by 235,000 for September after adding only 142,000 in August. We estimate private sector employment will expand by 225,000. Risks to our forecast are largely to the upside, given that unemployment claims have been trending lower and employment indicators for the manufacturing and service sectors are on [...]

Durable Goods Better than Headline Suggests

Durable goods orders dropped at an 18.2% pace in August, reversing part but not all of the outsize gains we saw in July. A sharp reversal of the surge in aircraft orders that Boeing saw in the month of July was the reason for the decline. Motor vehicle orders were also down in August

New Home Sales Jump

New home sales jumped at a double-digit pace to a 504,000 unit rate in August after being revised up for the month of July. This is welcome news in a housing market that has been lackluster at best and underscores how picky buyers remain in this market. Realtors complain that anything that is not move-in-perfect [...]

Manufacturing Stays Strong for September

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) flash reading held steady at 57.9 in September, marking the end of the strongest quarter since the survey began in 2007. Employment was particularly strong in this month’s report, which will help to provide an offset to the weakness we saw in August. An improvement in both domestic economic conditions [...]

Housing Starts Dip

Housing starts fell below the one million unit threshold again in August, but were revised up slightly for the month of July. Losses were heavily concentrated in the multifamily market, which has been on a tear. The largest losses in multifamily home construction were experienced in the West, where housing shortages are the most acute. [...]

Inflation Dips on Lower Gas Prices

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged 0.2% lower in August, largely on a drop in energy prices. Prices at the pump fell more than 4% alone. All of the savings at the pump is likely to be spent on food, where prices continued to rise during the month.