by Bill McBride on 3/17/2012 01:01:00 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2012
• Summary for Week ending March 16th
The key reports this week are housing related. This includes the NAHB builder confidence survey on Monday, housing starts on Tuesday, existing home sales on Wednesday, and new home sales on Friday.
The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for January will also be released on Wednesday.
8:35 AM ET: NY Fed President Dudley speaks on regional and national economic conditions before the Long Island Association
9:30 AM: Testimony, Suzanne Killian, Senior Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, "Foreclosures and the Housing Market" Before the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, Brooklyn, New York
10:00 AM: The March NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of 30, up slightly from 29 in February. Although this index has been increasing lately, any number below 50 still indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.
8:30 AM: Housing Starts for February.
This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that total housing starts have been increasing a little lately after mostly moving sideways for about two years and a half years. Multi-family starts increased in 2011 - although from a very low level - and single family starts appear to be increasing lately.
The consensus is for total housing starts to be essentially unchanged at 700,000 (SAAR) in February.
12:45 PM: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's lecture series to college students, "The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis" Part 1 of 4
7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the mortgage purchase applications index. This index has been weak this year, although this does not include all the cash buyers.
10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for February from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The consensus is for sales of 4.61 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate basis.
Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.63 million, up slightly from January’s pace. A key will be inventory and months-of-supply, and Lawler estimates inventory increased slightly in February.
During the day: The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for February (a leading indicator for commercial real estate).
8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 352,000 from 351,000 last week.
10:00 AM: FHFA House Price Index for January 2011. This is based on GSE repeat sales and is no longer as closely followed as Case-Shiller (or CoreLogic).
10:00 AM: Conference Board Leading Indicators for February. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in this index.
12:45 PM: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's lecture series to college students, "The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis" Part 2 of 4
10:00 AM ET: New Home Sales for February from the Census Bureau.
This graph shows New Home Sales since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.
The consensus is for a slight increase in sales to 325 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in February from 321 thousand in January. The consensus might be a little low based on the homebuilder confidence survey.