Friday, July 31, 2015

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since August 2008

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2015 06:27:00 PM

Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 1.66% from 1.70% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.05% in June 2014, and this is the lowest level since August 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.

Note: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate has only fallen 0.39 percentage points over the last year - the pace of improvement has slowed - and at that pace the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until 2017.

The "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%, so maybe serious delinquencies will be close to normal in 2017.  This elevated delinquency rate is mostly related to older loans - the lenders are still working through the backlog.

Restaurant Performance Index declined in June

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2015 04:16:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Dampened Outlook Causes Restaurant Performance Index Decline in June

As a result of a somewhat dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in June for the second consecutive month. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.0 in June, down 0.4 percent from May and its lowest level in nine months. Despite the decline, June represented the 28th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies continued expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although same-store sales and customer traffic levels remained positive in June, the overall RPI declined as a result of dampened optimism among restaurant operators,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “The proportion of restaurant operators expecting sales growth fell to its lowest level in nine months, while operators’ outlook for the economy turned negative for the first time in nearly two years.”
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 102.0 in June, down from 102.4 in May. (above 100 indicates expansion).

Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is "D-list" data, I like to check it every month. Even with the decline in the index, this is a solid reading.

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since November 2008

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2015 01:24:00 PM

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in June to 1.53%, down from 1.58% in May. Freddie's rate is down from 2.07% in June 2014, and the rate in June was the lowest level since November 2008.

Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure". 

Note: Fannie Mae will report their Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate for May later today.

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

Although the rate is declining, the "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%. 

The serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.54 percentage points over the last year, and at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until mid-2016.

So even though delinquencies and distressed sales are declining, I expect an above normal level of Fannie and Freddie distressed sales through 2016 (mostly in judicial foreclosure states).

Chicago PMI increases, Final July Consumer Sentiment at 93.1

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2015 10:02:00 AM

Chicago PMI July 2015: July Chicago Business Barometer Up 5.3 Points to 54.7

The Chicago Business Barometer increased 5.3 points to 54.7 in July led by a double digit gain in Production and accompanied by gains in New Orders and the other three components.
Companies reported a strong revival in output in July after five months of relatively weak business activity. Production rose sharply by 12.0 points to 61.8 amid a bounceback in inventory growth to the highest since April underpinned by a solid gain in New Orders.
Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said, “The recent weakness in the Chicago Business Barometer had sounded a few alarm bells over the resilience of the US economic recovery. The positive start to the third quarter, however, suggests that activity bounced back firmly as firms saw orders and output increase sharply.“
emphasis added
This was well above the consensus forecast of 50.0.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July was at 93.1, down from the preliminary reading of 93.3, and down from 96.1 in June.

This was below the consensus forecast of 94.1.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Friday: Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2015 08:46:00 PM

From Tim Duy: Fed Watch: GDP Report

The second quarter GDP report, while not a blockbuster by any measure, will nudge the Fed further in the direction of a September rate hike. At first blush this might seem preposterous - 2.3% growth is nothing to write home about in comparison to history. But history is deceiving in this case. It remains important to keep in mind that 2% is the new 4%.
Bottom Line: An unspectacular recovery, but sufficient to keep the Fed on track for raising rates this year. The case for September further strengthens.
• At 8:30 AM ET, the Q2 Employment Cost Index

• At 9:45 AM, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for July. The consensus is for a reading of 50.0, up from 49.4 in May.

• At 10:00 AM, the University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for July). The consensus is for a reading of 94.1, up from the preliminary reading of 93.3.

Zillow Forecast: Expect Case-Shiller National House Price Index up 4.3% year-over-year change in June

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2015 04:01:00 PM

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for May were released on Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: Case-Shiller Expected to Maintain Holding Pattern in June

The May S&P/Case-Shiller (SPCS) data published today showed home prices continuing to rise at an annual rate of five percent for the 20-city composite and 4.7 percent for the 10-city composite (seasonally adjusted). The national index has risen 4.4 percent since May 2014.

The non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) 10-City Index was up one percent month-over-month, while the 20-City index rose 0.8 percent (NSA) from April to May. We expect the change from May to June to show increases of 1 percent (NSA) for the 10-city index and 0.8 percent for both the 20-city and national indices.

All Case-Shiller forecasts are shown in the table below. These forecasts are based on today’s May SPCS data release and the June 2015 Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI).The SPCS Composite Home Price Indices for June will not be officially released until Tuesday, August 25.
This suggests the year-over-year change for the June Case-Shiller National index will be about the same as in the May report.

Zillow Case-Shiller Forecast
Composite 10
Composite 20
Actual YoY

Q2 GDP: Investment

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2015 12:52:00 PM

The graph below shows the contribution to GDP from residential investment, equipment and software, and nonresidential structures (3 quarter trailing average). This is important to follow because residential investment tends to lead the economy, equipment and software is generally coincident, and nonresidential structure investment trails the economy.

In the graph, red is residential, green is equipment and software, and blue is investment in non-residential structures. So the usual pattern - both into and out of recessions is - red, green, blue.

The dashed gray line is the contribution from the change in private inventories.

Note: This can't be used blindly.  Residential investment is so low as a percent of the economy that the small decline early last year was not  a concern.

Investment ContributionsClick on graph for larger image.

Residential investment (RI) increased at a 6.6% annual rate in Q2.  Equipment investment decreased at a 4.1% annual rate, and investment in non-residential structures decreased at a 1.6% annual rate.   On a 3 quarter trailing average basis, RI is positive (red), equipment is slightly negative (green), and nonresidential structures are also negative (blue).

Note: Nonresidential investment in structures typically lags the recovery, however investment in energy and power provided a boost early in this recovery - and is now causing a decline.  Other areas of nonresidential are now increasing significantly.

I expect investment to be solid going forward (except for energy and power), and for the economy to grow at a decent pace for the remainder of 2015.

Residential Investment
The second graph shows residential investment as a percent of GDP.

Residential Investment as a percent of GDP has been increasing, but it still below the levels of previous recessions - and I expect RI to continue to increase for the next few years.

I'll break down Residential Investment into components after the GDP details are released.

Note: Residential investment (RI) includes new single family structures, multifamily structures, home improvement, broker's commissions, and a few minor categories.

non-Residential InvestmentThe third graph shows non-residential investment in structures, equipment and "intellectual property products".  Investment in equipment - as a percent of GDP - is mostly moving sideways.  Other investment is generally trending up as a percent of GDP, except for investment in energy and power.

I'll add details for investment in offices, malls and hotels after the supplemental data is released.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 267,000

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2015 09:21:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 267,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 255,000. The 4-week moving average was 274,750, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 278,500.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was unrevised.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 274,750.

This was lower than the consensus forecast of 272,000, and the low level of the 4-week average suggests few layoffs.

BEA: Real GDP increased at 2.3% Annualized Rate in Q2

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2015 08:33:00 AM

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2015 (Advance Estimate); Includes Historical Revisions

Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.6 percent (revised).
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending, private inventory investment, and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.4 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.6 percent in the first. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the first.
The advance Q2 GDP report, with 2.3% annualized growth, was below expectations of a 2.9% increase, however Q1 was revised up to 0.6% annualized growth (from a 0.2% decline).

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased at a 2.9% annualized rate in Q2.

I'll have more on the annual revision later ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thursday: Q2 GDP and Revisions, Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2015 08:01:00 PM

The GDP revisions will be especially important this year.

Excerpts from a research piece by Michelle Meyer at Merrill Lynch:

The moment of truth
• The annual revision to GDP growth on July 30th will adjust estimates of growth over the past few years. If growth is indeed revised higher it would help solve the puzzle of low productivity growth.

• This will also be the first release of the new GDP and GDI composite. This will show a stronger trend of growth given that GDI has outpaced GDP recently.

• Taking a step back and examining a range of indicators reveals an economy expanding at a mid-2% pace, largely consistent with the Fed’s forecasts.
On July 30th, along with the first release of 2Q GDP, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will release the 2015 annual NIPA revision. We will be looking for the following:

1. Will GDP growth be revised higher over the past few years? If so, this would imply faster productivity growth, which has been puzzlingly slow.

2. How will the revision to seasonal factors adjust the “residual seasonality” issue to 1Q GDP growth over the years?

3. Will the new aggregated GDP and GDI figure take the spotlight away from GDP?

Although it is hard to say with any certainty, we believe GDP growth is likely to be revised up modestly. This will likely leave the Fed comfortable arguing that the economy is making progress closing the output gap, allowing a gradual hiking cycle to commence.
And on Q2:
The first estimate of 2Q GDP is likely to show growth of 3.0%, which would be a bounce from the contraction of 0.2% in 1Q. However, it is important to remember that the history will be revised along with this report.
A few excerpts from a research note by economists at Nomura:
Q2 GDP, first estimate (Thursday): Economic activity in Q2 bounced back after slowing in Q1. However, some factors such as low energy prices and the strong dollar likely continued to weigh on business activity. We expect the BEA to report that the rebound in activity was concentrated in the consumer, housing and government sectors. As such we forecast a 2.8% increase in Q2 GDP, with real final sales growing by 3.1% as we expect inventory investment to subtract 0.3pp from GDP growth.

The annual revisions to GDP will also be released. Revisions will be mostly applied to data between 2012 and Q1 2015. The most notable features the annual revisions will introduce are 1) the average of GDP, gross domestic income and final sales, 2) an upgrade to its presentation of exports and imports, and 3) improvements to seasonal adjustment of certain GDP components. Furthermore, our work suggests that there is material residual seasonality in top-line GDP in Q1, as it tends to be below trend due to strong seasonal patterns in defense spending. Therefore, we might see some revision to the distribution of GDP growth in the first part of this year. As such, there is more uncertainty around the Q2 GDP estimate than usual.
• At 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 2nd quarter 2015 (advance estimate); Includes historical revisions. The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.9% annualized in Q2.

• Also at 8:30 AM, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 272 thousand from 255 thousand.