Monday, June 26, 2017

Tuesday: Case-Shiller House Prices

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 09:16:00 PM

Tuesday:
• Early, Reis Q2 2017 Apartment Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for April. The consensus is for a 5.9% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for April.

• At 10:00 AM, Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for June.

Hotels: Hotel Occupancy down slightly Year-over-Year

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 04:11:00 PM

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 17 June

The U.S. hotel industry reported mostly positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 11-17 June 2017, according to data from STR.

In comparison with the week of 12-18 June 2016, the industry recorded the following:

Occupancy: -0.3% to 74.3%
• Average daily rate (ADR): +1.7% to US$129.32
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): +1.4% to US$96.10
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy RateThe red line is for 2017, dashed is 2015 (best year on record), blue is the median, and black is for 2009 (the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels).

Currently the occupancy rate is tracking close to last year, and just behind the record year in 2015.

For hotels, occupancy will increase further during the summer travel season.

Data Source: STR, Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com

For Fun: Stock Market as Barometer of Policy Success

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 02:11:00 PM

There are a number of observers who think the stock market is the key barometer of policy success.  My view is there are many measures of success - and that the economy needs to work well for a majority of the people - not just stock investors.

However, for example, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was on CNBC on Feb 22, 2017, and was asked if the stock market rally was a vote of confidence in the new administration, he replied: "Absolutely, this is a mark-to-market business, and you see what the market thinks."

And Larry Kudlow wrote in 2007: A Stock Market Vote of Confidence for Bush: "I have long believed that stock markets are the best barometer of the health, wealth and security of a nation. And today's stock market message is an unmistakable vote of confidence for the president."

Note: Kudlow's comments were made a few months before the market started selling off in the Great Recession. For more on Kudlow, see: Larry Kudlow is usually wrong

For fun, here is a graph comparing S&P500 returns (ex-dividends) under Presidents Trump and Obama:

Stock Market Performance Click on graph for larger image.

Blue is for Mr. Obama, Orange is for Mr. Trump.

At this point, the S&P500 is up 7.5% under Mr. Trump compared to up 11.9% under Mr. Obama for the same number of market days.

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

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 11:13:00 AM

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate in May was at 0.87%, down from 0.92% in April.  Freddie's rate is down from 1.11% in May 2016.

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

This is the lowest serious delinquency rate since May 2008.

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

Although the rate is still declining, the rate of decline has slowed.

Maybe the rate will decline another 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points or so to a cycle bottom, but this is pretty close to normal.

Note: Fannie Mae will report for May soon.

Dallas Fed: "Texas Manufacturing Continues to Expand but at a Slower Pace" in June

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 10:39:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Continues to Expand but at a Slower Pace

Texas factory activity increased in June, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell 11 points to 12.3, indicating output grew but at a slower pace than in May.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated that growth moderated. The new orders and growth rate of orders indexes fell several points each, coming in at 9.6 and 4.7, respectively. The capacity utilization index moved down to 12.3, and the shipments index retreated to 8.5 after surging last month.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in June, although the indexes were less positive than in May. The general business activity index edged down to 15.0. The company outlook index posted a 10th consecutive positive reading but fell nine points to 10.8.

Labor market measures indicated continued employment gains and longer workweeks this month. The employment index posted a sixth consecutive positive reading and edged up to 9.6. Nineteen percent of firms noted net hiring, compared with 10 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index dropped to 8.9, down seven points from a six-year high last month.
emphasis added
CR note: This suggests solid growth, although at a slower pace than in May. The recent decline in oil prices might impact the Dallas surveys in coming months.

Chicago Fed "Index Points to Slower Economic Growth in May"

by Bill McBride on 6/26/2017 09:11:00 AM

From the Chicago Fed: Chicago Fed National Activity Index Points to Slower Economic Growth in May

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to –0.26 in May from +0.57 in April. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from April, and three of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in May. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, declined to +0.04 in May from +0.21 in April.
emphasis added
This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on graph for larger image.

This suggests economic activity was close to the historical trend in May (using the three-month average).

According to the Chicago Fed:
The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories.
...
A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Night Futures

by Bill McBride on 6/25/2017 07:56:00 PM

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of June 25, 2017

Monday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Durable Goods Orders for May from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.4% decrease in durable goods orders.

• Also at 8:30 AM, Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:30 AM, Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for June.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P futures are down 3 and DOW futures are down 10 (fair value).

Oil prices were down over the last week with WTI futures at $43.21 per barrel and Brent at $45.54 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $47, and Brent was at $47 - so oil prices are down about 5% to 10% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.25 per gallon - a year ago prices were at $2.32 per gallon - so gasoline prices are down 7 cents year-over-year.

Goldman on the Next Recession

by Bill McBride on 6/25/2017 12:13:00 PM

A few brief excerpts from a note by Goldman Sachs economists: The Next Recession: Lessons from History

With the current expansion already the third longest in US history, investors have begun to look ahead to the next recession. ... we find that many pre-WW2 recessions originated in the financial sector, many post-WW2 recessions were caused by oil shocks and monetary policy tightening, and sentiment-driven swings in borrowing and investment led to recessions in both eras. ...

Some common contributors to past recessions look less worrisome today. ... the dominant cause of postwar US recessions—rapid rate hikes in response to high inflation, often boosted by oil shocks—is less threatening today due to the anchoring of inflation expectations and the rise of shale.
...
[Our model] now estimates a 1/4 chance of recession over the next two years, somewhat below the unconditional probability over two years of 1/3 since 1980.
CR note: Some day there will be another recession, but I don't see signs of a recession in the next year or more.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Schedule for Week of June 25, 2017

by Bill McBride on 6/24/2017 08:11:00 AM

The key economic reports this week are Personal Income and Outlays for May, Case-Shiller house prices, and the third estimate of Q1 GDP.

----- Monday, June 26th -----

8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for May from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.4% decrease in durable goods orders.

8:30 AM: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May. This is a composite index of other data.

10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for June.

----- Tuesday, June 27th -----

Early: Reis Q2 2017 Apartment Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices9:00 AM ET: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for April.

This graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted National Index, Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes through the March 2017 report (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The consensus is for a 5.9% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for April.

10:00 AM: Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for June.

----- Wednesday, June 28th -----

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

Early: Reis Q2 2017 Mall Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

10:00 AM: Pending Home Sales Index for May. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase in the index.

----- Thursday, June 29th -----

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 239 thousand initial claims, down from 241 thousand the previous week.

8:30 AM: Gross Domestic Product, 1st quarter 2017 (Third estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 1.2% annualized in Q1, unchanged from the second estimate of 1.2%.

Early: Reis Q2 2017 Office Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

----- Friday, June 30th -----

8:30 AM: Personal Income and Outlays for May. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in personal income, and for a 0.1% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.1%.

9:45 AM: Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for June. The consensus is for a reading of 58.2, down from 59.4 in May.

10:00 AM: University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for June). The consensus is for a reading of 94.5, from the preliminary reading 94.5.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Oil Rigs: "Not dead yet!"

by Bill McBride on 6/23/2017 03:55:00 PM

A few comments from Steven Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors LLC on June 23, 2017:

• Total US oil rigs were up 11 to 756

• Horizontal oil rigs were up a whopping 12 to 648

• Goodness knows the underlying dynamics, but apparently the rig operators have not received the oil price crash memo.
Oil Rig CountClick on graph for larger image.

CR note: This graph shows the US horizontal rig count by basin.

Graph and comments Courtesy of Steven Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors LLC.