By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/23/2013
First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 18 dropped 23,000 to, 340,000 from the highest level since the end of March the Labor Department reported Thursday.
By Tory Barringer | 05/22/2013
Though residential construction "is keeping the economy on an expansionary path," Moody's Analytics suggests in its latest "ResiLandscape" report that homebuilders are having a tough time shouldering the burden of growth on their own.
In its analysis, Moody's echoed two of the most common concerns voiced by builders today: lack of labor and rising building costs. While capacity constraints may weaken the homebuilding sector--and thus, housing as a whole--there is one upside: price growth.
By Tory Barringer | 05/20/2013
Preliminary reports show consumer sentiment rising to a nearly six-year high, according to Surveys of Consumers. The monthly consumer confidence survey, a product of Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, had a preliminary index reading of 83.7 in mid-May, a jump from 76.4 at the end of April. The reading was the highest since July 2007. At the same time, the measure of current economic conditions rose to 97.5 from 89.9, while the index of consumer expectations increased to 74.8 from 67.8.
By Esther Cho | 05/17/2013
The juice that will fuel the economic recovery is housing, or more specifically, new home sales, Freddie Mac stated in its economic and housing market outlook report for May.
By Tory Barringer | 05/17/2013
The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI), a major gauge of economic conditions, edged up in April as reports showed potential for growth later in the year. The LEI for the United States increased 0.6 percent in April to 95.0, coming back from a 0.2 percent decline in March and surpassing February's 0.4 percent bump. "The biggest positive factor is the potential for improvement in the recovering housing and labor markets," said Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board.
By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/16/2013
First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 11 rose 32,000 to 360,000, the highest level since the end of March, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected initial claims to increase to 330,000. First-time jobless claims for the week ended May were revised up to 328,000 from the originally reported 323,000.
By Tory Barringer | 05/14/2013
New home sales have seen a slow recovery since reaching a trough in 2011, but the recent pickup demonstrates how underlying economic fundamentals are improving.
By Esther Cho | 05/10/2013
In a recent report, Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, provided two reasons to explain the link between employment growth and housing.
By Tory Barringer | 05/09/2013
After spending the last month approaching record lows, fixed mortgage rates reversed the trend this week. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.42 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending May 9, up from last week, when it averaged 3.35 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.83 percent. According to Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, the rise in fixed rates this week was a reaction to April's better than expected employment report.
By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/09/2013
First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending May 4 dropped 4,000 to 323,000-- once again, the lowest level in more than five years, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected initial claims to increase to 335,000. First-time jobless claims for the week ending April 27 were revised up to 327,000 from the originally reported 324,000.