Author Archives

  • Producer Price Index unchanged in August

    The Producer Price Index was unchanged in August, with an increase in consumer food prices offsetting further declines in energy prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) reported no movement (SA) in the PPI for finished goods in August, following a 0.4% decline in June and 0.2% uptick in July. Producer prices have remained… Read More ›

  • Private Residential Construction turns down in July

    Private residential construction spending turned back down in July following three consecutive monthly increases. The Bureau of Census Construction Spending report revealed a 1.4% decrease in private residential construction spending in July, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $248.1 billion. Year-over-year, residential construction spending is up 5.3% from $235.6 billion in July 2010. Single-family construction spending again showed little… Read More ›

  • Consumers’ Outlook Increasingly Pessimistic

    Consumer confidence plummeted in August with consumers’ outlook becoming increasingly pessimistic. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell 25% (14.7 points) in August to 44.5, with a marked decline in the expectations index, down 31% (22.9 points) to 51.9.  Consumers’ expectations for business conditions deteriorated, with the proportion of respondents expecting “business conditions to improve” over the next six months… Read More ›

  • Case-Shiller House Price Index Shows Further Improvement in June

    House prices continued to improve in June. The release of the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller house price index (HPI) for the second quarter and June revealed an increase in both the quarterly and monthly indexes. The U.S. National Home Price Index (HPI) increased by 3.6% in the second quarter of 2011. The composite 20 (CS20) and composite 10 (CS10) HPIs… Read More ›

  • Pending Home Sales Slip Back in July

    Pending home sales (contract signings on existing homes) slipped back in July, with housing demand slowed by the weak economic conditions and falling consumer confidence. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed a 1.3% decline in the pending home sales index (PHSI) in July, to 89.7. This follows increases in the PHSI over the previous two months that were not… Read More ›

  • House Prices Improving, But Results Are Mixed

    The quarterly Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) purchase-only house price index (HPI) continued to fall in the second quarter, despite recent improvement in the monthly HPI. According to FHFA, U.S. house prices were 0.6% lower in the second quarter than the first quarter of 2011 and down 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. This represents the 17th consecutive quarterly decline in… Read More ›


  • Existing Home Sales Continue Their Downward Trend

    Existing home sales continued their recent downward trend in July. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported sales of existing homes fell to 4.67 million in July from an upwardly revised 4.84 million in June—a decline of 3.5%. Since January, existing home sales have fallen 13.5%. Single-family home sales were down 4.0% in July to 4.12 million units, but condominium… Read More ›


  • Consumer Price Index Bounces Back in July

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) bounced back in July, following a slight decline in June that ended an eleven-month run of increases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 0.5% (SA) increase in the CPI for All Urban Consumers in July, following a 0.2% decline in June. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index has increased 3.6% (NSA)…. Read More ›


  • Producer Price Index Returns to Upward Growth Path

    Producer prices resumed their upward growth path in July. Although there was a further decline in energy prices, it was not enough to offset rising food and core producer prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the PPI for finished goods increased 0.2% (SA) on a month-to-month basis in July, with the food index rising 0.6% and the core… Read More ›


  • Modest Gain in Pending Home Sales in June

    Pending homes sales made a modest gain in June, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealing a 2.4% increase in the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). This comes after a volatile period, with a sharp decline in April followed by a solid bounce back in May. However, overall the index has moved sideways in 2011, showing a slight decline… Read More ›