MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
New home sales edge up 0.4 percent in October but down 23.1 percent year-on-year
Sales of new single‐family houses in October 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 745,000. This is 0.4 percent above the revised September rate of 742,000, but is 23.1 percent below the October 2020 estimate of 969,000. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 389,000, or a supply of 6.3 months at the current sales rate.
Initial unemployment claims fall to lowest level since 1969
In the week ending November 20, initial unemployment claims were 199,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the previous week’s revised level to the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969. Continued claims during the week ending November 13 were 2,049,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week’s revised level to the lowest level for
insured unemployment since March 14, 2020. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending November 6 was 2,432,281, a decrease of 752,390 from the previous week.
November economic output index slips to 56.5, but still well in growth mode
The IHS Markit Flash US Composite PMI Output Index posted 56.5 in November, down from 57.6 in October. Although stronger than the lows seen in August and September, rising prices, poor input availability and challenges finding suitable candidates for vacancies reportedly held back the overall expansion.
Purchase loan apps rise 5 percent from previous week but down 4 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 5 percent (but down 4 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 0.4 percent (but down 34 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.24 percent from 3.20 percent.
Consumer sentiment index falls 6.0 percent in November and 12.4 percent year-on-year on inflation concerns
Consumers expressed less optimism in the November 2021 survey than any other time in the past decade about prospects for their own finances as well as for the overall economy, with the index of consumer sentiment falling to 67.4. This marks declines of 6.0 percent from October and 12.4 percent year-on-year. The decline was due to a combination of rapidly escalating inflation combined with the absence of federal policies that would effectively redress the inflationary damage to household budgets.