Banks and the Economy

House Prices Rose 0.6 Percent in July

House prices in the U.S. rose 0.6 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI), up from a 0.2 percent monthly gain in June. The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to ...

Read More »

Existing Home Sales Stall Unexpectedly

Existing home sales fell 4.8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), from a downwardly revised 5.58 million in July. August’s decline followed three consecutive months of gains. Despite the monthly decline, existing home sales have risen year-over-year for the last 11 months. Total housing inventory rose ...

Read More »

Household Net Worth Rises, Savings Rate Falls

Household net worth increased $694.8 billion during the second quarter of 2015 to $85.7 trillion, a 0.8 percent increase from the first quarter, and a 4.6 percent increase from a year ago. Households’ holdings of nonfinancial assets increased during the second quarter, growing 1.9 percent. The majority of this increase came from real estate holdings, which increased by $498.7 billion. ...

Read More »

No September Rate Increase

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee elected not to raise the federal funds rate in September. In a statement released post-meeting, the Fed once again stated that the U.S. economy showed signs of moderate expansion and labor market improvement. However inflation has continued to run below long-run objectives – in some part due to declines in energy prices and non-energy ...

Read More »

Housing Starts Fall, Permits Rise

Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.126 million, 3.0 percent below the revised July estimate of 1.161 million, but 16.6 percent higher than the August 2014 rate. Housing activity fell in three of the four regions, with starts falling 33.7 percent in the Northeast, 9.8 percent in the Midwest, and 1.1 percent in the West. Starts ...

Read More »

Home Builder Confidence Continued to Rise in September

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reached a level of 62 in September, the highest reading since October 2005. Two of the three index components posted gains on the month. Current sales conditions rose 1 point to 67, and the index measuring buyer traffic rose to 47, up 2 points from July. The index measuring ...

Read More »

CPI Fell in August as Energy Prices Decline

The Consumer Price Index decreased 0.1 percent in August. The decline was largely due to a sharp decline in the gasoline index. The index rose 0.2 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index declined 2.0 percent in August after posting gains for three consecutive months. Both the fuel oil and gasoline indices declined sharply, falling by 8.1 and ...

Read More »

Retail Sales Edged Up in August

There were $447.7 billion of retail and food services sales in August (after adjustment for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes), an increase of 0.2 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Retail sales increased 2.2 percent from August 2014. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – increased 0.1 percent from the ...

Read More »

Industrial Production Declined 0.4% in August

Industrial production decreased 0.4 percent in August, after increasing 0.9 percent in July. Total industrial production is at 107.1 percent of its 2012 level and 0.9 percent above its year-earlier level. Manufacturing output fell 0.5 percent in August primarily due to a large drop in motor vehicle parts. Mining, fell 0.6 percent on the month, while utilities rose 0.6 percent. ...

Read More »

NY Fed: Inflation Expectations Decline, Earnings Expectations Flat

Inflation expectations decreased slightly at both the one year ahead and three year ahead levels, while earnings growth expectations were flat according to the New York Fed’s September Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Median one-year ahead inflation expectations dropped 17 basis points to 2.79 percent in August, the second lowest reading of the year. The median three-year ahead inflation expectations ...

Read More »