More positive news in housing as the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index rose 6.6% annually in September while the National Index jumped 7% year over year. The housing sector continues to astound the markets with strong results fueled by low rates along with a rush to the suburbs. On a monthly basis, the National Index rose 1.2% while the 20-CityComposite was up 1.2% respectively. A spokesperson said, the recent gains may 'presage future strength, as COVID encourages potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes. The next several months’ reports should help to shed light on this question."
With the holiday spending months upon us across the nation, expectations are calling for an increase this year despite the worries over COVID-19. The National Retail Federation expects that holiday sales during November and December will rise between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019 to a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. That compares to $729.1 billion last year and an average holiday sales increase of 3.5% over the past five years. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year. We expect a strong finish to the holiday season and will continue to work with municipal and state officials to keep retailers open and the economy moving forward at this critical time.”
Consumer Confidence slipped in November from December as the resurgence of COVID-19 is creating uncertainty. The Conference Board reports that the Consumer Confidence Index fell to 96.1 this month from 101.4 in October. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased slightly. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said, "The resurgence of COVID-19 is further increasing uncertainty and exacerbating concerns about the outlook.”