Author Archives

  • Producer Price Index Marches Up as Energy Prices Continue to Rise

    The Producer Price Index continued to march up in April as energy prices sustained their strong growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) reported that the PPI for finished goods rose a further 0.8% (SA) in April, the tenth consecutive monthly increase.  Over the past year, the price of finished goods has advanced 6.8%… Read More ›

  • Private Residential Construction Improves in March

    Private residential construction spending showed a moderate improvement in March, but the increase was the result of a strong rise in the volatile home improvement sector—spending on single- and multi-family housing continued to decline. The Construction Spending report from the Bureau of Census indicated a 2.6% increase in private residential construction spending to $229.1 billion, with a large downward revision… Read More ›

  • House Prices continue to slide in February

    House prices continue to slide, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly purchase-only house price index (HPI) down 1.6% (SA) in February—the fourth consecutive decline and the eighth decline in the past 9 months.  Overall, the FHFA index is down 5.7% for the year, and 18.6% below the peak of April 2007. The HPI was down in all of… Read More ›

  • Existing Home Sales Resume Upward Growth Path in March

    Existing homes resumed their upward growth path in March—the sixth increase in the past eight months. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 3.7% increase in existing home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million units in March 2011, from an upwardly revised 4.92 million in February.  While recovering only part of the 8.9% decline in… Read More ›

  • Inflation Expectations Build with the Consumer Price Index Rising Again in March

    Rising energy and food prices pushed the Consumer Price Index higher in March—extending the run to 9 consecutive months of growth. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), rose 0.5% (SA) in March, with the year-over-year increase at 2.7% (NSA). Energy and food prices continue to be the main… Read More ›

  • Onwards and Upwards – Energy Price Rises Continue Unabated Pushing the Producer Price Index Higher in March

    The Producer Price Index continued to advance in March, spurred by further growth in energy prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) reported that the PPI for finished goods rose a further 0.7% (SA) in March, extending its string of increases to nine months.  Over the past year, the price of finished goods has… Read More ›

  • No Surprises – Private Residential Construction Spending Down in February

    There were no surprises in the February Construction Spending report from the Bureau of Census, with a marked decline in private residential construction spending.  Private residential construction spending fell 3.8% to $228.5 billion, following an unexpected increased in January. Spending was down in all sectors of private residential construction in February. Home improvement expenditures led the decline, down 5.6% to… Read More ›

  • Consumers’ Outlook Increasingly Pessimistic

    The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell 12% in March to 63.4, with consumers’ outlook becoming increasingly pessimistic. The decline was driven by a marked decline in the Expectations Index, down 17% to 81.1. Consumers expect business conditions to weaken and the employment market to soften over the next six months. In addition, an increasing number of consumers anticipate their… Read More ›

  • Case-Shiller House Price Index Down Again

    The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller house price index (HPI) continued the steady decline observed in recent months, with the Composite 20 index (CS20) falling 1.0% (not seasonally adjusted) and the Composite 10 (CS10) index down 0.9% (NSA) in January. This is the sixth consecutive month of decline. Year-over-year, the CS10 is down 2.0% and the CS20 is down 3.1% relative… Read More ›

  • Uneven Recovery in Home Sales Continues in February

    Pending homes sales returned to their upward trend in February continuing the uneven recovery from its low mid-2010. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced a 2.1% increase in the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) in February to 90.8, following a 5.1% decline in January.  The recovery since the low in mid-2010 at the conclusion of the home buyer tax… Read More ›