Tag Archive for ‘economics’

FHFA Shows Modest Home Price Improvement in November

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released monthly home price indexes for the US and the 9 Census divisions for November. Home prices for the US overall increased by 1.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, while 8 of the 9 Census divisions had increases, ranging from 0.2 to 2.0 percent. Home prices in the Middle Atlantic division declined by… Read More ›

Strong Increase in Existing Home Sales

Existing home sales continued to grow on a month-to-month basis in December, rising for a third consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported sales of existing homes comprised of completed transactions of single-family, townhouses, condominiums and coops rose 5.0 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million. This is an increase from the downwardly… Read More ›

Producer Prices in December – A Flat End to the Year

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for December today. The index for finished goods declined 0.1 percent in December from November after oscillating in a narrow range since May. The leveling off paralleled the flattening of energy prices after a sharp run-up earlier in the year. The PPI for material and supply inputs to… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee Minutes: A Glimpse Behind the Curtain

Last week the Federal Reserve Board released the minutes from the December 13 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The minutes provide much more detail on the deliberations of the committee than the brief statement which is released immediately following the meeting. The review of US economic conditions between the November and December meetings identifies an economy that is expanding… Read More ›

New NAHB Research: Apartment Rent Estimating Model

In October, NAHB released an updated version of the statistical model it maintains for estimating the average price of a single-family home. Economist Paul Emrath has now published a companion model designed to estimate average gross rent for an apartment in a building with five or more housing units. Like the house price model, the NAHB rent estimator is calibrated with… Read More ›

Construction Hiring Slows While Overall Hiring Increases, per November JOLTS Data

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data for November from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates improving hiring conditions for the overall economy. While total job openings for all non-farm sectors were essentially unchanged at 3.2 million, total hires increased to 4.1 million, which is tied with September of 2011 for the most number of hires since the Fall of 2008. The… Read More ›

The Employment Situation for December – Cautiously Optimistic

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for December today. From the establishment survey, payroll employment increased by 200 thousand, with private payrolls adding 212 thousand and government payrolls declining by 12 thousand. The October and November figures were revised, lowering payroll employment by 8 thousand for the period. From the household survey, the unemployment rate… Read More ›

Expiring Housing Tax and Finance Law: What’s on the 2012 Policy Agenda

Due to heated budget debates during the second half of last year, Congress failed to approve a 2011 “tax extenders”  bill, legislation that typically extends certain business and individual tax rules that expire every year or two. This development sets up a policy fight in 2012 during which advocates will seek a retroactive extension of now-expired tax rules. However, this is not… Read More ›