Category Archives: Economic Alert

Construction Spending Higher In June and July

Construction spending surged 0.7% in July and was revised up for the month of June; it is now at the highest level since mid-2008, which is good but still suppressed relative to the bubble. Gains in the private sector offset a drop in the public sector. The rise in single-family home construction outpaced gains

Durable Goods Surprise to the Upside

Durable goods orders surged a more-than-expected 2% in July and were revised up to show a whopping 4.1% gain in June. More importantly, July’s gains occurred outside of the highly volatile aircraft sector; we saw increases in everything from machinery to vehicles and communications equipment. The increase in machinery is encouraging as it appears to [...]

Solid New Home Sales in July

New home sales increased in July to an annualized level of 507,000; that is up a solid 26,000 from the previous month. The revision to June was essentially flat. Three of the four regions posted increases with the South leading the way, followed by the West and Northeast. The Midwest was the only region to [...]

Existing Home Sales Beat Expectations

In July, existing home sales topped expectations by coming in at 5.59 million homes (annualized) sold. Revisions to the previous month were essentially flat. The July increase was driven by gains in the South

Yuan Devaluation: Nod to Markets or Currency Manipulation?

Last week the Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), announced a change in its exchange rate-setting mechanism that resulted in a de facto devaluation of the yuan, which dropped by more than 4% by the end of the week. The decision was widely interpreted as a deliberate attempt to weaken the currency, [...]

Housing Starts Flat Despite Flicker in Single-Family

In July, housing starts ticked up 2,000 to 1.21 million. That comes after an upward revision of 30,000 to June. Though starts came in essentially flat for July, that does not tell the whole story.

Solid Gains in Retail Sales Reveal a More Confident U.S. Consumer

The U.S. consumer entered the third quarter with some momentum, according to the latest report on retail sales. Total sales rose 0.6% in July over June, and are up 2.4% over one year ago. The revision to June, whose reading was originally in negative territory, was to the upside

Solid Job Gains Keep Fed on Track for September

The economy added 215,000 jobs in the month of July while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.3%. The report, in line with expectations, shows overall a solid performance of the labor market, easing some early concerns that job creation may have suffered a summer lull.

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,

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,