U.S. Economic News

January 24, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales fell 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in December, but are 1.1% above year-ago levels.  NAR notes that despite significant headwinds, the housing market performed remarkably well in 2017 and that rising wages should help more first-time buyers purchase homes.  NAR Report
The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 0.4% in November and were up 6.5% from the same period last year.
  House prices rose on an annual basis in all nine census divisions, with the largest gains coming in the Mountain division. Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate has confirmed Jerome Powell as the Federal Reserve Chairman. Powell, who was confirmed in an 84-13 vote, will take over in February and is expected to continue Janet Yellen’s approach of cautious and gradual rate hikes. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is unconcerned that eleven nations forged a Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) agreement after the U.S. withdrew from the deal. Mnuchin reiterated that the Trump administration is amenable to bilateral deals where they do not yet exist and will continue to pursue “America First” trade policy. WSJ