U.S. Economic News

July 31, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index rose 1.5% to 110.2 in June (up 0.5% Y/Y) after three straight monthly declines.  NAR says this uptick may signal a rebound in the housing market, though a number of areas are still struggling with critically low supply.  NAR Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, members of Congress will have just 12 working days to raise the federal borrowing limit when they return from their August recess.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said last week that the debt ceiling must be raised by September 29th or the federal government will be at risk of defaulting on its debts. WSJ

Sam Fleming and Joe Rennison of the Financial Times write that the Federal Reserve’s plan to begin shrinking its balance sheet as soon as September may be put in jeopardy if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.  As investors become more nervous about the future of the debt ceiling the Fed may be forced to hold off on reducing its asset holdings to avoid shocks to financial markets. FT

The Wall Street Journal reports that food retailers in the U.S. have built out too much retail space and sales are suffering as a result.  Analysts say that as the supermarket industry becomes increasingly saturated, chain stores will be unable to continue opening new locations to make up for lost sales — sales which have been lost to online retailing and deep-discount stores. WSJ