Tag Archive for ‘economics’

The Employment Situation for February – Solid Job Gains, Unemployment Rate Unchanged

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for February today. Payroll employment expanded by 227 thousand from January to February and upward revisions added a total of 61 thousand to the December and January gains. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, based on strong gains in both employment and the labor force, according to… Read More ›

MPI Points to Continued Improvement in Multifamily Construction

In the fourth quarter of 2011, NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI) continued to show improvement, increasing for a sixth consecutive quarter.  The MPI, which is based on a quarterly survey of multifamily builders and developers, tracks sentiment about construction of new apartments on a scale of 0 to 100.  The MPI increased from 47.3 in the third quarter to 48.9 in… Read More ›

Tightest Housing Markets in the U.S.

A simple measure of tightness in a market for owner-occupied housing is the homeowner vacancy rate (number of homes for sale divided by the number either for sale or owner-occupied). Builders are often interested in markets that are tight by this measure, because it indicates prospective buyers will have difficulty finding a suitable home among the available existing units.  Several federal government… Read More ›

Private Residential Construction Spending Hits a Two-Year High

The Census Bureau reported that private residential construction spending activity increased 1.8% during January. The preliminary estimate for December was boosted higher to show a 1.5% gain, versus the originally reported increase of 0.8%. After falling in July 2010 to its lowest reading since mid-1995, spending on private residential construction projects has increased in each of the last six months—rising… Read More ›

Fourth Quarter GDP Growth – Second Estimate: A Little More Encouraging

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the second estimate of real GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2011. The revised estimate shows real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.0 percent, up from 2.8 percent as initially reported. The upward revision came primarily from stronger growth in nonresidential fixed investment and personal consumption expenditures and… Read More ›

Beige Book: Modest Growth Continues, but Some Optimism Emerges for Residential Real Estate

The latest issue  of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book portrayed modest economic growth across all 12 Fed Districts. This particular theme of “modest” or “moderate” growth has been for most districts in each of the past several releases. Consumer spending, outside of some seasonal items hurt by low snowfall totals, remained solid during January and early February. Major winter tourist… Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Rises in February

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey showed an improvement in consumer confidence during February 2012. Although certain components within each survey showed some conflicting results, specifically a slight decline in the U of Michigan’s current conditions index, both sources reveal overall consumer confidence has trended appreciably higher since the third quarter… Read More ›

Case-Shiller House Prices – Where You Live Matters

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released today with data through December. In addition to the monthly 10 and 20 city composites (and component cities), today’s release included the national index which is calculated quarterly. The national index and the two composites were down and the press release was gloomy with talk of new lows and possible further declines… Read More ›

AD&C Lending for Home Building Remains Restrictive

A number of economic indicators are pointing to improving days ahead for housing and home building. These include The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reached its highest level since April 2007 The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, a measure of home buying affordability, is at an all time high The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index now counts 98 metro areas as improving… Read More ›