MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Pending home sales improve for the first time since last May, but still down 33.8 percent year-on-year
Pending home sales improved for the first time since May, up 2.5% from November. Month-over-month, contract signings fell in the Northeast and Midwest but climbed in the South and West. Pending sales declined in all regions compared to one year ago, falling 33.8%.
December PCE Index shows inflation continuing to ebb, up 5.0 percent year-on-year
The Fed-preferred PCE Index rose 0.1% in December, the same as in November and down sharply from October’s rise of 0.4%. Year-over-year, the index rose 5.0%, and has continued to decline from a high of 6.3% in August and September.
Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 0.3%, up from 0.2% due to stubborn inflation in services. Year-over-year, the core index rose 4.4%, down from 4.7% in November and a high of 5.2% in September. While goods fell 0.7% in December and 1.0% for durable goods, services rose by 0.5% versus 0.3% in November and 0.4% in October.
Month-end January consumer sentiment up 8.7 percent from December
Consumer sentiment confirmed the preliminary January reading, remaining low from a historical perspective but continuing to lift for the second consecutive month, rising 8.7% above December and reaching 3.4% below a year ago. While the short-run economic outlook was relatively unchanged from last month, all other components of the index increased in January. Year-ahead inflation expectations receded for the fourth straight month, falling to 3.9% in January from 4.4% in December.