U.S. Economic News

February 21, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales fell 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in January, and are 4.8% below year-ago levels.  NAR notes that January marked the largest year-over-year decline in existing home sales since 2014, as an utter lack of inventory and the resulting high prices forced many prospective buyers out of the market.  NAR Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the bipartisan spending agreement reached by U.S. lawmakers has caused economists to raise expectations for Federal Reserve rate hikes this year. Market-watchers expect that the expanded government spending, along with recently-passed tax cuts, will provide a fiscal stimulus that will cause inflationary pressures to build more rapidly than before. WSJ

Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal reports that increasing U.S. oil production has changed the relationship between oil prices and economic momentum in the U.S. Though higher oil prices used to be tied to slower economic growth, the surge in U.S. oil production means that the burden of increasing prices is increasingly offset by expanding energy investment, production, and jobs. WSJ

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