Author Archives: Stephen Newton

Durable Goods Orders Climbed 6.5% in June

New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 6.5% in June to $245.6 billion, following a 0.1% May decrease, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders excluding defense grew 6.7% on the month, while orders of nondefense capital goods jumped 21.0% to $84.6 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods, down in three of the last fourth months, decreased $0.1 billion, ...

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FOMC: Balance Sheet Reduction to Begin ‘Soon’

At its meeting that concluded yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee said it plans to begin “relatively soon” to reduce the Fed’s balance sheet, which is swollen with $4.5 trillion in securities purchased as part of quantitative easing programs between 2008 and 2014. According to a statement from the FOMC released yesterday, the committee said it expects to begin the ...

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New Home Sales Increased in June

New single-family home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 in June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The June level was 0.8% above the revised May rate of 605,000 and 9.1% above the June 2016 estimate. Sales grew in two regions, 10.0% in the Midwest and 12.5% in ...

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Consumer Confidence Grew in July

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 121.1 in July, rebounding from declines in the three preceding months. Last month’s index was downwardly revised from 118.9 to 117.3. The Present Situation Index rose 3.9 points to 146.3, the third consecutive monthly increase. The Expectations Index grew 3.7 points to 103.3 after declining in the three preceding months. “Consumer confidence ...

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Existing-Home Sales Declined 1.8% in June

Existing-home sales decreased 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Despite the decline, sales are 0.7% above a year ago.“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price ...

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Housing Starts Grew in June

Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.215 million in June, 8.3% above the revised May rate of 1.122 million and 2.1% above the June 2016 rate. Housing activity increased 1.6% in the West and jumped 83.7% in the Northeast. The Midwest’s housing activity grew 22.0%, while the South’s decreased 3.8%. New building permits increased during the ...

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Builder Confidence Declines Slightly in July

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slowed to 64 in July, a two point decrease from July’s downwardly revised reading of 66. “Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is hurting housing affordability even ...

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Industrial Production Rose 0.4% in June

Industrial production grew 0.4% in June after an upwardly revised 0.1% May increase, according to the Federal Reserve. May’s jump was the fifth consecutive month of growth Manufacturing output grew 0.2% in June after a 0.4% decline in May. Production of durable goods and nondurables both edged up 0.5% during the month. Capacity utilization for manufacturing increased by 0.1 percentage ...

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Retail Sales Slipped in June

There were $473.5 billion in retail and food service sales in June, down 0.2% from the previous month and up 2.8% from June 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – also fell 0.2%. Year-over-year core sales increased 2.4%. Retail trade sales decreased 0.1% from May and are up 3.0% from last ...

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Consumer Prices Unchanged in June

The Consumer Price Index remained flat in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 1.6%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” increased 0.1% in June, the same as in May. The index rose 1.7% for the 12 months ending in ...

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