Economic News in Review Greenville SC
Here is last week’s Economic News in Review Greenville SC.
Sales of new homes increased, but not as much as real estate watchers had hoped. Personal incomes and spending both posted gains. Layoffs, while up, remained at low levels.
New Home Sales
Sales of new single-family homes in October posted gains for the third-straight month, but the performance was tepid. Transactions of new homes grew 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 458,000, according to last week’s report from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
October’s new home transactions were short of the 470,000-unit pace that the market had expected and likely pointed to mediocre gains in momentum for the new home market for the remainder of the year. Still, compared to last year, the month was up 1.8 percent from the October 2013 rate of 450,000.
Looking at home values, the median sales price of new homes sold in October was $305,000 and the average price was $401,100. In terms of inventory, the estimated number of new homes for sale at the end of October was 212,000, which represented a 5.6-month supply at October’s sales rate.
Personal Incomes and Spending
Consumer spending bounced back a bit and beat expectations in October, while incomes also posted gains. Incomes grew in October by $32.9 billion, or 0.2 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI; income after taxes) gained $23.4 billion, or 0.2 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week.
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) grew by $27.3 billion, or 0.2 percent, which outpaced market expectations of 0.1 percent growth. Personal outlays, which combine PCE, interest payments, and transfer payments, swelled by $26.3 billion during October, which was significantly larger than September’s $8.7 billion in outlays.
October’s personal savings, which are DPI less personal outlays, notched down to $651.2 billion in October, compared with $654.0 billion in September. The personal saving rate, which is personal saving expressed as a percentage of DPI, stayed unchanged from September’s at 5 percent.
“The storyline is basically that U.S. household spending appears to have regained its footing this quarter after slipping badly at the end of Q3,” TD Securities’ deputy head of U.S. research and strategy Millan Mulraine told the Wall Street Journal. “However, given the relatively subdued pace of gains, we continue to expect economic momentum to slip in Q4, with the pace of GDP growth slowing to between 2.5 percent and 3 percent.”
Initial Jobless Claims
First-time claims for unemployment benefits took an unexpected jump, but remained at low levels. Claims for unemployment insurance filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending Nov. 22 surged to 313,000, a sizable gain of 21,000 claims over the previous week’s revised level of 292,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week.
The four-week moving average, considered a more stable measure of near-term jobless activity, grew to 294,000, an increase of 6,250 over the prior week’s revised average of 287,750.
Looking at the total number of insured unemployed, the number of workers covered by benefits dropped to 2,316,000 during the week ending Nov. 15, a decline of 17,000 from the previous week’s revised level of to 2,333,000. This marked the lowest level for insured unemployment since Dec. 9, 2000’s level of 2,263,000.
“Though we have seen increases over the past three weeks in the four-week average, the trend in claims remains relatively low,” BNP Paribas’ Derek Lindsey told Business Insider.
This week, we can expect:
- Tuesday — October construction spending from the Census Bureau; November car and truck sales from the auto manufacturers.
- Wednesday — Third quarter productivity scores from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Thursday — Initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration
- Friday — November unemployment rate, payroll, earnings and average workweek from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; October trade balance and factor orders from the Census Bureau; October consumer credit from the Federal Reserve.
Economic News in Review Greenville SC
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