Thursday, January 27, 2011

Misc: Kansas City Fed Manufacturing, Foreclosures Spread, Japan Downgrade and more

by Bill McBride on 1/27/2011 11:24:00 AM

• From the Kansas City Fed: Survey of Tenth District Manufacturing

Growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity moderated somewhat in January, but activity was stronger than a year ago and optimism
remained fairly high. Price indexes in the survey were still elevated, particularly for raw materials.

The month-over-month composite index was 7 in January, down from 14 in December and 11 in November ... The employment index edged down from 11 to 8.
Note: I've been using the production index from the Kansas City Fed, and they have now introduced a composite index. The last of the regional Fed surveys for January will be released on Monday (Dallas Fed).

The ISM manufacturing index will released on Tueday, Feb 1st, and the regional Fed surveys suggest the index will be in the mid to high 50s (same range as December).

• From RealtyTrac: 2010 Foreclosure Activity Down in Hardest Hit Markets But Increases in 72 Percent of Major Metros
“Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation’s metro areas — many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami.”
• From the NY Times: S.&P. Downgrades Japan as Debt Concerns Spread

• From Bloomberg: Mortgage Rates on 30-Year U.S. Loans Increase for the Second Straight Week
The average rate for 30-year fixed loans climbed to 4.80 percent for the week ended today from 4.74 percent, according to Freddie Mac.