A key metric of the U.S. economy is consumer confidence – a reading of how confident consumers feel about the economy, both currently and in the near future. A confident consumer helps stimulate the economy by freely spending their money, as compared to an unconfident or insecure consumer who will instead pull back on spending to hold on to their money. Now, three major surveys that offer key readings on consumer sentiment in July show big gains in confidence – a bullish sign for the economy.
Chalk this up to good economic news! Yesterday, the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading for the year through June shows that inflation continues to moderate, coming in at a reading of just 3% growth. That is well off the reading of 4% through May and much better than economists had anticipated.
But it is not yet time to open the champagne just yet, as we are likely to have another interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) later this month, and perhaps yet another one before the end of 2023 as they try to manhandle inflation down to their 2% target rate.
See more on the direction of inflation[Read more…] about Inflation Drops Big in June; But Don’t Pop the Champagne Cork Just Yet
On the face of it, the inflation numbers for May seemed quite positive and an apparent validation of the Federal Reserve Board’s efforts to glide the economy into a “soft landing.” But the overall number, a 4% increase in the broader-based Consumer Price Index turned out to be a bit of an illusion, causing the Fed to leave interest rates at the current level, but forecast two more interest rate increases in 2023.
See more on inflation concerns[Read more…] about May Inflation Rate Raises Hope for ‘Soft Landing’; Fed Keeps Current Interest Rate
Residential construction of new homes – known as housing starts – continues to register monthly declines as a combination of still-high home prices along with rapidly rising mortgage rates results in collapsing home affordability. While economists continue to debate if and when the U.S. economy enters a recession – it’s clear that housing overall, and the home building segment specifically – is already there.
See the latest data on single-family starts…[Read more…] about Single-Family Starts in Nov Hit 2-1/2 Year Low
After a dramatic double-digit drop in May, June housing starts declined again, with overall starts not only dropping below May’s rate to a nine-month low but also coming in well below the rate in June 2021. Single-family starts in June hit their lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate since July 2020.
Learn all the latest data on June housing starts[Read more…] about June Housing Starts Hit 9-Month Low; Single-Family Starts Lowest in 2 Years
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday that inflation in June came in at a surprising rate of 9.1%, clearly demonstrating that – in contrast to what many economists had hoped – inflation had not yet peaked in May. This news raises the risk of an approaching economic disruption…a recession.
Read more on this inflation reading[Read more…] about Inflation Spiked 9.1% in June Exceeding Forecasts; Risk of Recession Grows
The latest data on home affordability from the National Realtors Association, tracked in its Housing Affordability Index, shows that housing is at its least affordable level in 22 years. And that’s not just for first-time buyers, but for home upgraders as well. Not only that, but new economic data suggests that this declining housing affordability will remain an issue for some time yet to come.
See the latest Housing Affordability Index data[Read more…] about Housing Affordability Index Collapses to Lowest Level in 22 Years
A Fluke? Or is Housing Making a Comeback?
Data released on Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed that sales of newly constructed homes actually increased in May. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors released new data on pending home sales which also showed a surprise jump in contracts in May.
What’s going on? Is the housing market mounting a comeback?
What does this surprise increase in new & pending home sales mean?[Read more…] about What?! Both New Homes Sales & Pending Home Sales Jump in May
Is an Industrywide Slowdown in Tech Beginning?
Samsung Electronics is taking action to hold back on procurement orders and asking suppliers for concessions, such as delayed deliveries, order reductions, and more in the wake of a concerning buildup of inventory. While the action is said to be temporary, concerns over a slowing global economy make it difficult to determine how long the company will deem these actions are necessary.
See more on Samsung’s actions to cut inventory buildup[Read more…] about With Demand Slack & Inventory Levels Building, Samsung Cuts Procurement
>Consumer Sentiment Hits Record Low in June
Things are changing in the economy faster now, causing a dramatic uptick in economic anxiety. The fuse was lit last Friday when the latest government data showed that inflation increased to 8.6% in May compared to last year. The reading on inflation had been widely expected by most economists to drop a point or two from the 8.3% rate of inflation reported in April. The news sent Wall Street into a tailspin as traders interpreted the increase in inflation as a heightened risk of recession.