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Sales Of Existing Homes Edge Lower In April
In the second of three major monthly housing reports (preceded last week by housing starts and followed next week by sales of new homes), the National Association of Realtors has just reported that sales of existing residences, or re-sales, eased by 3.3% last month, falling to 5.04 million homes sold on an annualized basis. That was down from the upwardly revised March sales pace of 5.21 million homes (earlier estimated at 5.19 million) and from expectations of 5.24 million properties expected to have been sold. Read more
Housing Starts Soar In April Aided By Warmer Weather
The housing market came alive in April, following some less-than-compelling comparisons earlier in the year. To wit, housing starts surged just over 20% last month to an annualized rate of 1.135 million homes started. That was up from March's upwardly revised starts rate of 944,000 homes. Earlier, the March total had been estimated at 926,000 homes. Read more
Industrial Production Falters In April
At 9:15 (EDT) this morning, the Commerce Department reported another disquieting early second-quarter metric when it indicated that industrial production had dropped by a surprising 0.3% in April. A gain of 0.1% had been the forecast. This report was yet one more suggestion that economic growth in the second quarter, albeit likely to be noticeably better than the opening-period's 0.2% rate, could well be little better than 2%. Earlier, the general assumption had been that GDP in the April-to-June span could be up by as much as 3%. Read more
Retail Sales Disappoint In April, Showing No Gain
The consumer pulled back in April according to data issued by the U.S. Commerce Department earlier this morning. On point, the report showed that overall spending was flat last month; a gain of 0.1% had been the forecast. Moreover, if we back out the auto component from the mix, to get the so-called core rate of sales, we find that the increase was a token 0.1%. A gain of 0.5% had been the consensus forecast. Read more
April Employment Growth Was Neither Too Hot Nor Too Cold
The so-called Goldilocks economy is back in vogue on Wall Street, and traders and investors are happy with that state of affairs, to say the least. Specifically, a little earlier this morning, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the nation had added 223,000 new jobs last month--exactly in line with expectations. Read more
Non-Manufacturing Activity Strengthens In April
The hoped-for second-quarter economic recovery just received a welcome boost this earlier morning, as the National Association of Purchasing Managers reported that its non-manufacturing survey had increased to a reading of 57.8 last month. That level, not only was well above the dividing line between an expanding services sector and one that is contracting, which is at 50.0, but also was a bit above the consensus expectation for the latest month of 56.3. Read more
Manufacturing Flattens Out In April
Second-quarter economic numbers are starting to be released, and after some mixed readings in consumer confidence and sentiment, and somewhat better data on a regional manufacturing activity and weekly jobless claims, the nation's manufacturing sector was surveyed, and the results did not make for good reading. Read more
Fed Changes Little In Latest FOMC Statement
Within the past hour, the Federal Open Market Committee concluded its latest two-day monetary policy meeting and released a statement detailing its discussions and monetary policy decisions. In a nutshell, the Federal Reserve decided to keep things status quo. Read more
First-Quarter GDP Lags Badly
Expectations for first-quarter gross domestic product growth have been coming down for weeks, as the seeming impact of the dreadful weather in the three-month span had been growing. Going into the 8:30 AM (EDT) issuance, the consensus forecast had been for GDP growth of just 1.0%. True, some were suggesting slightly below that figure. But none seemed to be contemplating the actual 0.2% growth rate that was recorded in the quarter. Read more
Consumer Confidence Falters In April
The Consumer Confidence Survey, a closely watched sentiment index, which had strengthened in recent months, took a step back in April, with that metric, put out by the Conference Board, falling from an upwardly revised March reading of 101.4 to 95.2 this month. Initially, the March tally had been estimated at 101.3. Read more
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