Banks and the Economy

Existing-Home Sales Rebounded in May; Median Sales Price at New High

Existing-home sales increased 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales are 2.7% above a year ago and the third highest pace over the last year. “The job market in most of the country is healthy, and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep ...

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Yellen Signals Greater Transparency in Stress Tests

In a letter to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the Fed will provide banks with more details on the stress testing process in response to calls from lawmakers and others -- including ABA -- for greater transparency.

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Housing Starts Declined in May

Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.092 million in May, 5.5% below the revised April rate of 1.156 million and 2.4% below the May 2016 rate. Housing activity increased 1.3% in the West and remained at the same level in the Northeast. The Midwest and South experienced declines of 9.2% and 8.8%, respectively. New building permits ...

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ABA: Regulations Should Be Tailored Based on Risk, Business Model

Regulations based on asset size are “inappropriate and needlessly burdensome” for many banks with non-complex business models, and ultimately lead to higher costs and fewer choices for consumers, ABA said in written testimony submitted for a Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulatory relief for midsize and regional banks today.

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Builder Confidence Decreases Slightly in June

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index weakened slightly to 67 in June, a two point decrease from May’s downwardly revised reading of 69. “Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. All three ...

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Industrial Production Unchanged in May

Industrial production remained unchanged in May after a revised 1.1% April increase, according to the Federal Reserve. April’s jump was the largest since February 2014. A drop in manufacturing output was offset by increases in mining and utilities output to keep the index flat in May. Manufacturing output fell 0.4% in May after a revised 1.1% increase in April. Production ...

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