Fresh on the heels of some dispiriting manufacturing
news out of Germany earlier this morning, in which that country had suffered a small decline in that industrial category in the latest month, our Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has chimed in with data showing a smaller-than-forecast increase in this important industrial segment.
The Conference Board's Index of Consumer Confidence
, expected to have held steady in the latest month, instead dipped back moderately, suggesting that the public while still comparatively upbeat, did turn moderately more cautious in September.
Sales of new
single-family homes surged 18% last month
to a seasonally adjusted 504,000 dwellings--the fastest pace in more than six years. The upturn was led by the West, where sales soared by 50.0%. This gain was all the more impressive as this locale is the nation's second largest, exceeded only by the populous South.
of existing homes eased
somewhat in August
, falling by 1.8%, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.05 million homes
. That was less than the 5.20 million homes forecast. Of note, the July tally, originally estimated at 5.15 million homes sold, was pared back slightly to an estimated 5.14 million homes seeing transactions.
Just when it looked as though the stars were aligned once again for the housing market
, some rain has been thrown on the parade. True, there was no deluge, and homebuilding in the latest month still exceeded the year-earlier total. Nevertheless, the falloff was worse than had been anticipated.
The Federal Reserve
released its much-anticipated statement following the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy
meeting. The testimonial featured minimal changes from the last release, as the lead bank noted that it will keep interest rates low for a “considerable time,”
much to the delight of equity market participants. The equity market moved modestly higher on the commentary, as low interest rates and a supportive Fed are typically viewed favorably by investors and that certainly seems to be the case once again today.
declined in August, dipping by a scant 0.1%, for that sector's first retreat in seven months. The setback was not only somewhat disappointing, but it was a little surprising, as well, with output having been expected to rise by 0.3% last month.
Earlier this morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce
reported that Americans had stepped up their spending in August, as retail sales
gained a solid 0.6%. That improvement was as expected. Encouragingly, the rise was off a somewhat higher base than originally thought, as July retail sales, which had been estimated to have shown no increase, were revised to indicate a modest uptick of 0.3%.
Just when it appeared as though everything was coming up roses for the nation's economy
, the U.S. Labor Department
threw some cold water on the party when it reported a little earlier this morning that non-farm payrolls
had risen by just 142,000 last month. That tepid increase was well under the latest forecast gain of 225,000.
At 10:00 A.M. (EDT) this morning, we received a very encouraging report on non-manufacturing activity
for the month of August. It marked the 55th consecutive month that economic activity in the services sector had grown.