By Christopher McGratty early seven years since the federal funds rate was effectively cut to zero, it is widely believed that interest rates are set to slowly move higher later this year. Whether the inaugural 25 basis point move-up occurs in September or December, timing is now being measured in months, not years. This expectation
Existing home sales increased 2.0 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.59 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), up from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June. Existing home sales have increased year-over year for the last ten months, and are now 10.3 percent higher than a year ago.
In the Minutes of their July 28 – 29 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, Fed officials outlined their decision to hold off on raising interest rates, noting that most members believed the conditions for policy firming were not yet met, but were “approaching that point.” In the July and previous meetings, FOMC members expressed
Housing starts in July rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million, 0.2 percent above the revised June estimate of 1.204 million and 10.1 percent higher than the July 2014 rate. Housing activity was mixed across regions, with starts rising in the Midwest and South by 20.1 percent and 7.7 percent respectively, while
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose 1 point to a level of 61 in August, the highest reading since November 2005. Two of the three index components posted gains for the month. Current sales conditions rose 1 point to 66, while the buyer traffic index rose 2 points to 45.
Industrial production increased 0.6 percent in July, after a 0.1 percent gain in June. This was the second consecutive monthly gain. Industrial production has increased 1.3 percent on the year. After a 0.3 percent decline in June, manufacturing output increased primarily due to gains in motor vehicle assembly. Mining, increased 0.2 percent on the month,
Producer prices climbed 0.2 percent in July, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, attributable to an increase in prices for final demand services, which climbed 0.4 percent. July’s reading marked the third consecutive monthly increase in the index. Sixty percent of the broad-based price inflation for final demand services could be
Outstanding household debt rose a very slight $2 billion in the second quarter — reaching $11.85 trillion — the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said today.
There were $446.5 billion of retail and food services sales in July (after adjustment for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This level represented an increase of 0.6 percent from the previous month, and a 2.4 percent increase from July of last year.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.3 points in July to 95.4, after falling 4 points in June. Seven of the ten components posted gains over the last month. The number of owners planning to increase employment rose 3 points from June. Fifty-seven percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, while 48