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Chicago Business Barometer Up 1.1 Points to highest level since November 2014

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased to 59.4 in May from 58.3 in April, the highest level since November 2014.Optimism among firms about business conditions rose for the fourth consecutive month. Four of the five Barometer components led May’s increase, with only New Orders receding. READ MORE

Federal Reserve Beige Book: Modest economic growth, but some regional weaknesses

The Beige Book provided a generally upbeat view of growth in the U.S. in the period from early April through late May. The report appears to strengthen the case the Fed will raise a key short-term interest rate again at its next big meeting in two weeks. Show More Summary

Mortgage applications fall 3.4 percent in latest survey, rates flat

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling one percent and refinances down by four percent.The average...Show More Summary

Old+New Book Review: Wang Shu

Wang Shu Amateur Architecture Studio edited by Michael Juul Holm, Kjeld Kjeldsen, Mette KallehaugeLouisiana Museum of Modern Art/Lars Müller Publishers, 2017Hardcover, 240 pagesWang Shu: Imagining the House by Wang ShuLars Müller Publishers, 2012Paperback, 168 pagesLike their buildings, books on Wang Shu and Amateur Architecture Studio are a rarity. Show More Summary

Summer 2017 Walking Tours

I have four architectural walking tours in June and July. Click on the links below to purchase tickets from the 92Y.Saturday, June 3, 11am - 1:30pmThe High Line and Its EnvironsWalk the 1.5-mile-long elevated park from tip to tip, learning...Show More Summary

April pending home sales index posts first year-over-year decline since December

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 1.3 percent to 109.8 in April from a downwardly revised 111.3 in March. After last month's decline, the index is now 3.3 percent below a year ago, which is the first year-over-year decline since last December and the largest since June 2014 (7.1 percent). READ MORE

Initial estimate: Corporate profits dipped sharply in 1Q 2017

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) decreased $40.3 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $11.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey rose in May to highest level in three years

Texas factory activity increased at a faster pace in May, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, moved up eight points to 23.3, reaching its highest level since April 2014.

State Street Global Investor Confidence Index rose 5.1 points in May

The State Street Global ICI increased to 102.5, up 5.1 points from April’s revised reading of 97.4. The improvement in sentiment was driven by an increase in the North American ICI from 95.1 to 104.1.“After 10 consecutive months of readings...Show More Summary

Personal income and spending both rose 0.4 percent in April

Personal income increased $58.4 billion (0.4 percent) in April while disposable personal income (DPI) increased $56.5 billion (0.4 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $53.2 billion (0.4 percent). The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent from March and 1.7 percent year-on-year. Show More Summary

Consumer Confidence Index dipped again in May

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in April, declined slightly in May. The Index now stands at 117.9 (1985=100), down from 119.4 in April. The Present Situation Index increased marginally from 140.3 to...Show More Summary

Case-Shiller Index sets 33-month high in March, up 5.8 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 5.8% annual gain in March, up from 5.7% last month and setting a 33-month high. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.3% month-over-month increase.

Today's archidose #965

Here are some photos of the Cascara Bridges at the Madrid Rio project in Madrid, Spain, by MRIO Arquitectos (Burgos & Garrido, Porras La Casta, and Rubio & A?lvarez-Sala) and West 8. The concrete bridges feature mosaics by artist Daniel Canogar. Show More Summary

Amazon's Bricks and Mortar

Earlier today I decided to check out the new Amazon Books, which opened a few days ago. The bricks-and-mortar version of the online powerhouse is located in Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The store makes its presence known only...Show More Summary

Book Review: MAS Context 30-31: Bilbao

MAS Context 30-31: BilbaoEdited by Iker GilSpring 2017, 456 pagesThe year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Frank Gehry's contribution to the Bilbao effect. Contribution is an important word...Show More Summary

May consumer sentiment continued high plateau but partisan divide remains

According to the University of Michigan's monthly survey, consumer sentiment has continued to move along the high plateau established following Trump’s election. The May 2017 figure was virtually unchanged from the April reading, and...Show More Summary

First quarter GDP growth revised up from 0.7 to 1.2 percent in second estimate

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017 according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 0.7 percent. Show More Summary

Mortgage applications rise 4.4 percent in latest survey as rates drop to lowest level since November 2016

The Market Composite Index increased 4.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 1 percent and refinances rising 11 percent.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 4.17 percent.

Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggest another rate hike possible in June

Federal Reserve officials expected at their policy meeting this month that it would "soon be appropriate" to raise short-term interest rates, a signal the U.S. central bank could move in June at its next gathering. The Fed also moved...Show More Summary

Initial unemployment claims rise 1,000 in latest report but 4-week average down to lowest level since April 1973

In the week ending May 20, initial unemployment claims were 234,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. The 4-week moving average was 235,250, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 14, 1973 when it was 232,750.

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