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State Street Global Investor Confidence Index slips 1.5 points in December

The Global Investor Confidence Index decreased to 94.8, down 1.5 points from November’s revised reading of 96.3. The fall in sentiment was driven by a 6.2 point drop in the North American ICI to 94.9 and a 2.8 point fall in the Asian ICI to 94.8. However, the European ICI rose 16 points to 96.9. READ MORE

October Case-Shiller Index up 0.2 percent from September and 6.2 percent year-on-year

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 6.2% annual gain in October, up from 6.1% in the previous month. Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index, 10-City and 20-City Composites all posted a month-over-month gain of 0.2% in October. READ MORE

November durable goods orders up 1.3 percent from October, but business investment slips after four monthly gains

Durable-goods orders rose 1.3% in November, and was powered by volatile civilian aircraft orders. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.1% while business investment slipped 0.1% in November after four monthly gains. These orders have climbed 5.1% in the past year. READ MORE

November personal spending up 0.6 percent vs. 0.3 percent for personal income, inflation still low

In November, personal income increased 0.3 percent, disposable personal income rose 0.4 percent and personal spending rose 0.6 percent. Personal savings was 2.9 percent in November, down from 3.2 percent in October.The PCE price index, the inflation index favored by the Federal Reserve, increased 0.2 percent, and is up 1.8 percent year-on-year. Show More Summary

Consumer confidence dips slowly in December but still at elevated levels

Consumer confidence continued to slowly sink in December, with most of the decline among lower income households. The extent of the decline was minor, with the December figure just below the average for 2017 (95.9 versus 96.8). Indeed,...Show More Summary

November new home sales jumped 17.5 percent from October and 26.6 percent year-on-year

Sales of new single-family houses in November 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000, up 17.5 percent from October and 26.6 percent year-on-year. The monthly increase is the highest in 25 years, whereas the total number of sales is the highest pace since 2007. READ MORE

National Activity Index shows moderating growth in November

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was +0.15 in November, down from +0.76 in October. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity including production and income; employment, unemployment, and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders, and inventories.READ MORE

November Non-Employment Index at 7.9 percent vs. 4.1 percent official rate

The Hornstein-Kudlyak-Lange Non-Employment Index (NEI) was 7.9 percent in November 2017, unchanged from October. It has declined by 0.4 percentage points since November 2016. The NEI including workers who are part time for economic reasons (PTER) was 8.9 percent in November 2017, unchanged compared to the previous month. Show More Summary

Initial unemployment claims rise 20,000 in latest report

In the week ending December 16, initial unemployment claims were 245,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 225,000. The 4-week moving average was 236,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 234,750.READ MORE

Mortgage applications fall 4.9 percent in latest report

The Market Composite Index decreased 4.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans down 6 percent and refinances falling 3 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.16 percent from 4.20 percent. READ MORE

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index falls from 53 to 47 in December

Americans' outlook for the U.S. economy fell in December to match the weakest for the year and a weekly measure of confidence cooled to a two-month low, even as both gauges remain high by historical standards.READ MORE

October FHFA House Price Index up 0.5 percent from September and 6.6 percent year-on-year

The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) reported a 0.5 percent increase in U.S. house prices in October from the previous month. From October 2016 to October 2017, house prices were up 6.6 percent.READ MORE

Third quarter GDP rose at 3.2 percent in third and final estimate

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. With this third estimate for the third quarter,Show More Summary

Leading Economic Index rose 0.4 in November, suggesting continued growth into 2018

The U.S. LEI rose again in November, suggesting that solid economic growth will continue into the first half of 2018. In recent months, unemployment insurance claims have returned to pre-hurricane levels. In addition, improving financial indicators, new orders in manufacturing and historically high consumer sentiment have propelled the U.S. Show More Summary

2017 Highlights

This last post of 2017 looks back as some highlights from this year: books I read and reviewed, exhibitions I saw, buildings I visited, and news I covered. I've tried to limit the list in each category a few of each, and in some cases I've included one item from this year that I've yet to blog about but am looking forward to next year. Show More Summary

November existing home sales rose 5.6 percent to strongest pace in almost 11 years

Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, and were up 5.6 percent from October and 3.8 percent year-on-year. All major regions except for the West saw a significant hike in sales activity last month.READ MORE

November building permits dip 1.4 percent from October but still up 3.4 percent year-on-year

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,298,000. This is 1.4 percent below the revised October rate of 1,316,000, but is 3.4 percent above the November 2016 rate of 1,255,000.READ MORE

November housing starts reached highest level since June 2008

Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000, or the highest rate since June 2008. This is 3.3 percent above the revised October estimate of 1,256,000 and is 12.9 percent above the November 2016 rate of 1,149,000.READ MORE

Builder confidence index rises 5 points to 75 in December, highest since July 1999

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to a level of 74 in December on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after a downwardly revised November reading. This was the highest report since July 1999, over 18 years ago.READ MORE

Year in Review

It's December so posts here are pretty slim. Soon I'll be adding a post with some of my favorite things -- books, buildings, exhibitions -- from 2017, but in the meantime, here's a link to the Year in Review I did at World-Architect...

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