Category Archives: Economic Alert
In October, 495,000 new homes were sold; that increase followed a downward revision to September. Gains were broad-based with three of the four regions posting increases. The median sales price moved down from the previous month as the composition of homes sold shifted towards lower-priced properties.
Real disposable incomes rose 0.4% in October, slightly faster than September, while inflation-adjusted spending rose a tepid 0.1% during the month, weaker than September, which was actually revised down. The saving rate picked up, but something more than caution alone appears to be happening.
Durable goods orders jumped a more-than-expected 3% in October, buoyed by a surge in aircraft orders for Boeing at the Dubai air show. Moreover, orders were revised up for the month of September. Nondefense and ex-aircraft orders, which more closely correlate with direct business investment, increased
Real GDP was revised up to 2.1% in the third quarter from an initial estimate of 1.5%. Unfortunately, almost all of those “gains” can be attributed to larger-than-previously reported inventories, which will now have to be drained in the fourth quarter. This could further deepen holiday discounts
In October, housing starts slipped to a 1.06 million unit pace, nearly 60% below household formation. This is causing acute shortages for those looking for a place to live, particularly to rent,
Industrial production dropped a more-than-expected 0.2% in October. All of that weakness, however, can be attributed to sharp declines in utilities and mining. Milder-than-usual autumn weather pushed down utilities, while mining and extraction continued to suffer from low prices at the gas pump.
Retail sales rose what appeared to be a tepid 0.1% in October but, as the debates have revealed, appearances can often be deceiving. Vehicle sales remained unusually strong after an already robust September, which dampened month-to-month gains, while gasoline station sales continued to fall on lower prices at the pump. Core retail sales, which exclude [...]
The latest data on international trade for the month of September show some positive developments for the U.S. economy. The goods and services deficit dropped by $7.2 billion, from $48 billion in August to $40.8 billion in September, in a movement that reflects both advances in exports and declines in imports, despite the relative strong [...]
Construction spending rose 0.6% in September, a little more than expected. Gains in multifamily construction in particular continued to substantially outpace gains in the single-family market. We also saw solid gains at auto dealers, which is not surprising given the recent surge in sales,
Durable goods orders fell for the second month in a row, largely in response to a downdraft in the volatile aircraft component. Losses were broad-based with the exception of the vehicle sector.