U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 27, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index inched up 0.2% in November (up 0.8% Y/Y).  NAR says that the housing market is finishing the year on a strong note, though many first-time buyers continue to face issues of affordability and shrinking supply.  NAR Report
 
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell from 128.6 to 122.1 in December, the largest contraction in over two years. 
The drop was driven by a sharp decline in the Expectations index from 111.0 to 99.1.  Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that homeowners are rushing to prepay property taxes for 2018 before they lose the ability to deduct those payments from their tax bills. The recently-passed tax bill will cap the amount that filers can deduct for property taxes at $10,000, which could raise the tax bills of individuals living in higher-tax areas. WSJ

According to Jon Sindreu of The Wall Street Journal there is a risk that long-term interest rates could suddenly rise as central banks tighten monetary policy. Long-term rates have been subdued despite repeated rate hikes by the Fed, and a sudden spike in yields as the Fed continues to tighten could slow down or reverse recent gains in stock markets. WSJ

Keybridge Releases Report on 2016 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative National & Community Calorie Goals

Keybridge Releases Report on 2016 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative National & Community Calorie Goals

December 26, 2017

In September 2014, the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a commitment to reduce beverage calorie consumption per person by 20 percent by 2025 nationwide and in 8-10 select communities. This report features second-year estimates and percent change from baseline of per person beverage calorie consumption nationally and for each of the five BCI Communities selected to date.

Link: 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative: Report on 2016 Progress

Link: Detailed Methodology

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

 

U.S. News

Suzanne Kapner of The Wall Street Journal writes that U.S. retail sales during the holiday season rose at their best pace since 2011 according to real-time credit card spending data. E-commerce sales drove the sharp growth, as consumer confidence holds near multi-decade highs and the unemployment rate near multi-decade lows. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the repatriation provisions included in the recently-signed tax bill could boost the U.S. dollar as billions of dollars in offshore holdings are brought back to the U.S. However, analysts also note that as central banks around the world begin unwinding monetary-easing policies, global interest rates are likely to rise, so the magnitude of the effect on the U.S. dollar is not clear. WSJ

According to The Wall Street Journal small, rural businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to borrow money as local banks close or consolidate. As more banks disappear from small towns, local businesses are losing their personal relationships with lenders that were crucial for obtaining credit, leaving them to borrow from larger financial institutions with more rigid lending standards. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 22, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

Real disposable personal income inched up 0.1% in November while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.4%. The PCE price index edged up 0.2% (up 1.8% Y/Y) and the core price index rose 0.1% (up 1.5% Y/Y). BEA Report
 
New home sales jumped 17.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 733,000 in November, and are 26.6% above the November 2016 rate.  
The median sales price jumped to $318,700 and the inventory of new homes dropped to 4.6 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

New orders of manufactured durable goods rose 1.3% in November after decreasing 0.4% (revised) in October, and are up 5.4% year-over-year.  Excluding transportation, new orders edged down 0.1% (up 6.2% Y/Y).  Census Bureau Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 2.6 points to 95.9 in the final December reading, and is down 2.3 points on the year.  The Index of Consumer Expectations dropped to 84.3, and the Current Economic Conditions Index inched up to 113.8.  Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 21, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The third estimate of Q3 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.2%, below the second estimate of 3.3%. The reading reflects healthy consumer spending, business investment, and net exports as well as strong contributions from private inventories. BEA Report
 
Initial jobless claims jumped 20,000 to 245,000 last week.  
The four-week moving average rose 1,250 to 236,000. DOL Report

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 0.5% in October and were up 6.6% from the same period last year.  House prices rose on an annual basis in all nine census divisions. Report

U.S. News

David Harrison of The Wall Street Journal writes that new data from the Census Bureau shows that Americans’ commutes are getting longer. Commuting times have increased as suburban regions of major cities expand, though an infrastructure system badly in need of investment and repairs has also contributed. WSJ

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