Friday, May 27, 2011

Consumer Sentiment increases in May, Pending Home Sales decline sharply

by Bill McBride on 5/27/2011 09:55:00 AM

From NAR: April Pending Home Sales Drop

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, dropped 11.6 percent to 81.9 in April from a downwardly revised 92.6 in March. The index is 26.5 percent below a cyclical peak of 111.5 in April 2010 when buyers were rushing to beat the contract deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

The data reflects contracts but not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
This suggests a sharp decline in existing home sales in May or June.

Consumer Sentiment: The final May Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 74.3 from the preliminary reading of 72.4, and from 69.8 in April.

Consumer Sentiment Click on graph for larger image in graphic gallery.

This was above expectations for a reading of 72.5.

In general consumer sentiment is a coincident indicator and is usually impacted by employment (and the unemployment rate) and gasoline prices.

This is still a low reading, but sentiment probably improved a little possible due to the decline in gasoline prices.