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  • Construction Spending Ticks Higher in September

    Private residential construction spending increased 0.2% during September. Construction activity has failed to expand consistently in the past year—six month-to-month increases offset by five monthly declines. Overall, private residential construction spending inched up a meager 0.1% compared to September 2010. The new single-family home category posted its fourth consecutive month-to-month gain during September, rising 0.5%. However, homebuilding activity can, at… Read More ›


  • Mixed Readings on Consumer Confidence in October

    Consumer confidence remained at levels close to the darkest days of the Great Recession, but there was some disagreement among the two most frequently used measures about where confidence is rising or falling. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey showed consumer confidence moving in opposite directions during October. The University of… Read More ›

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  • Beige Book: Modest Growth Continues, but Outlook Remains Cloudy

    Business conditions continued to improve across the nation’s 12 Federal Reserve Districts, according to the newest release of the Federal Reserve Beige Book. Unfortunately, the pace of recovery remained slow and uneven in most areas; in addition, contacts for the report noted either weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions. Consumer spending was reportedly up slightly in most districts… Read More ›


  • Construction Spending Rises across the Board in August

    Private residential construction spending increased 0.7% on a month-to-month basis in August. However, total spending activity in the residential construction sector has been flat to date in 2011, with four month-to-month increases matched by four decreases. On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending increased is up 3.9%, the fourth consecutive gain and the largest percentage increase since June 2010…. Read More ›


  • Consumer Confidence Improves Slightly from Multi-Year Lows

    The two surveys that are watched most closely to gauge consumer confidence, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, both reported slight increases. Both surveys registered gains in the expectations component, but the results for current economic conditions were mixed as the CCI suggested present economic conditions were weaker versus last month…. Read More ›

  • Beige Book Shows Slow Growth, Heightened Uncertainty across Fed Districts

    The latest release of The Federal Reserve Beige Book indicates the Fed’s 12 Districts continue to experience growth, but the pace of recovery remains lackluster across the majority of areas. However, reports from the Boston and Philadelphia Fed Districts were more mixed. Uncertainty also remains a key concern based on reports from several districts where “recent stock market volatility and increased… Read More ›

  • Homebuilder Employment Still Bouncing Along the Bottom

    The homebuilding industry has been the hardest hit segment of the construction sector. Indeed, homebuilders saw their payrolls contract by a total of nearly 1.5 million from the peak back in April 2006 to their low point in October 2010. Furthermore, while the homebuilding industry accounts for just above one-third of construction sector payrolls, it accounted for nearly two-thirds of… Read More ›

  • Mortgage Bankers: Short-term Delinquencies Rise but Long-term Delinquencies and Foreclosure Starts Decline

    According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s mortgage delinquency survey, total loan delinquencies as a share of all outstanding loans rose to 8.44% in the second quarter of 2011, an increased by 12 basis points. However, the share of mortgage loans in foreclosure fell versus the first quarter, sliding 9 basis points to 4.43%. MBA’s Chief Economist Jay Brinkman discussed… Read More ›


  • Construction Spending Declines despite Small Gain in Homebuilding

    Private residential construction spending slipped 0.3% on a month-to-month basis in June, which represents the fourth such decline of the current calendar year. On a year-over-year basis, total spending activity for the private residential construction sector contracted 2.1%. June 2011 marked the 11th consecutive month in which spending fell compared to the previous year. The initial estimate for May was… Read More ›

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  • Consumers Glum about Current Economic Conditions

    The two major surveys used to measure consumer confidence, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, offered conflicting opinions on consumers’ assessment of future economic conditions. The CCI showed consumers becoming slightly more optimistic about future economic activity while the University of Michigan survey’s expected conditions component plunged 13.6% to its lowest… Read More ›

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