Blog Profile / CalculatedRisk

Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:11525
Posts / Week:22.7
Archived Since:June 7, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 222,000

The DOL reported:In the week ending February 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 230,000 to 229,000. Show More Summary

Thursday: Unemployment Claims

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Hit New 4-Year HighsMortgage rates continued higher today following the release of the Minutes from the Federal Reserve's (aka "The Fed") most recent policy meeting. The FedShow More Summary

House Prices and Inventory

This will be an interesting year for housing. With the tax changes - and rising mortgage rates - a key question is: What will be the impact on housing?The answer is no one knows for sure. For the possible impact of tax changes on housing,...Show More Summary

FOMC Minutes: "Labor market continued to strengthen and that economic activity expanded at a solid rate"

Still on pace for 3 or 4 rate hikes in 2018, although few signs of "broad-based pickup in wage growth". Some excerpts:From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, January 30-31, 2018: In their discussion of the economic...Show More Summary

A Few Comments on January Existing Home Sales

Earlier: NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Slip 3.2 Percent in January"A few key points:1) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus. See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January. Show More Summary

AIA: "Architecture billings continue growth into 2018"

Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From the AIA: Architecture billings continue growth into 20182018 started on a strong note for architecture firms, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw its highest January score since 2007. Show More Summary

NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Slip 3.2 Percent in January"

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Slip 3.2 Percent in JanuaryExisting-home sales slumped for the second consecutive month in January and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis in over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Show More Summary

Wednesday: Existing Home Sales, FOMC Minutes

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Unable to Extend Last Week's GainsMortgage rates moved back up today after ending last week on a positive note. Improvements in rates have been uncommon so far in 2018. In fact, we haven't seen more than 2 consecutive days without a move higher. Show More Summary

Q1 GDP Forecasts

It is early, but here are few Q1 GDP forecast.From Merrill Lynch: The weak retail sales data sliced 0.3pp from our 1Q estimate to 2.0%, while 4Q 2017 dropped to 2.5% from 2.7%.And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNowThe GDPNow model estimate...Show More Summary

Update: For Fun, Stock Market as Barometer of Policy Success

Note: This is mostly a repeat of a June 2017 post with updated statistics and graph, and one new quote.There are a number of observers who think the stock market is the key barometer of policy success. My view is there are many measures...Show More Summary

Chemical Activity Barometer Increased in February

Note: This appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production.From the American Chemistry Council: Industrial Activity Signals Further Gains in U.S. Economyhe Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created...Show More Summary

Ten Years Ago: Housing Starts were down Sharply as the Great Recession Started

It is hard to believe this was 10 years ago...Ten years ago today, I discussed housing starts: Single Family Housing Starts Lowest Since Jan 1991 "Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 743,000; this is 5.2 percent...Show More Summary

Las Vegas: Record Convention Attendance in 2017, Visitor Traffic off Slightly

During the recession, I wrote about the troubles in Las Vegas and included a chart of visitor and convention attendance: Lost Vegas. Since then Las Vegas visitor traffic recovered to new record highs.However, in 2017, visitor traffic...Show More Summary

The Housing Bubble, Mortgage Debt as Percent of GDP

Last year on Presidents' Day, I excerpted from a post I wrote in February 2005 (yes, 13 years ago).In that 2005 post, I included a graph of household mortgage debt as a percent of GDP. Several readers asked if I could update the graph.First, from 2005:The following chart shows household mortgage debt as a % of GDP. Show More Summary

Existing Home Sales: Lawler vs. the Consensus

This will be a light week for economic data and the key economic report this week is January existing home sales. The NAR is scheduled to report January Existing Home Sales on Wednesday, February 21st at 10:00 AM ET.The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is that the NAR will report sales of 5.65 million. Show More Summary

Goldman: "Federal fiscal policy is entering uncharted territory"

A few excerpts from a note by Goldman Sachs economists: What’s Wrong with Fiscal Policy? Federal fiscal policy is entering uncharted territory.... While most of the recent fiscal expansion has not come as a surprise to us, this nevertheless...Show More Summary

Phoenix Real Estate in January: Sales up 3%, Inventory down 11% YoY

This is a key housing market to follow since Phoenix saw a large bubble / bust followed by strong investor buying.The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) reports (table below):1) Overall sales in January were up 2.8% year-over-year (including homes, condos and manufactured homes).2) Active inventory is now down 10.7% year-over-year. Show More Summary

Schedule for Week of Feb 18, 2018

The key economic report this week is January existing home sales. ----- Monday, Feb 12th ----- All US markets are closed in observance of the Presidents' Day holiday. ----- Tuesday, Feb 13th ----- No major economic releases scheduled. Show More Summary

Oil Rigs "Continued gains in rig counts"

A few comments from Steven Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors LLC on Feb 16, 2018:• Total US oil rigs saw another solid week, +7 to 798• Horizontal oil rigs were up even better, +10 to 696...• All the action was in the inscrutable ‘Other’...Show More Summary

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January

From housing economist Tom Lawler:Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at aShow More Summary

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