Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Misc: California 99ers Lose 20 Weeks, Richmond Fed index increases, FHFA House Prices increase year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 4/24/2012 11:06:00 PM

A few miscellaneous articles ...

• From Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle: California Fed-Ed jobless benefits to end mid-May

Starting in mid-May, no one in California can begin or continue receiving this final round of federal benefits, known as Fed-Ed in California and Extended Benefits elsewhere.

About 90,000 Californians are receiving Fed-Ed. Their benefits will end abruptly in mid-May, even if they still have weeks remaining in their Fed-Ed claim.

The program's end will reduce the maximum weeks of unemployment to 79 from 99 for most people in California, although a small segment can get up to 89.
Update: California has one of the highest state unemployment rates at 11%, so it seemed a little weird that California workers would lose the Fed-Ed benefits. However, aocording to the Record Searchlight (ht josap), the Fed-Ed program requires that the unemployment rate be "10% higher than it was during the same three-month period during one of the last three years".

• Earlier today from the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Picks Up the Pace in April; Expectations Remain Upbeat
In April, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — advanced seven points to 14 from March's reading of 7. ... The manufacturing employment index moved up four points to end at 10, and the average workweek indicator edged up one point to 3. The wage index added three points to 14.
This was slightly above expectations of a reading of 8.

• From the FHFA: FHFA House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in February
U.S. house prices rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to February, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. ... For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices rose 0.4 percent, the first 12-month increase since the July 2006 - July 2007 interval.
The FHFA monthly index is for Fannie and Freddie loans only. Fannie and Freddie have significantly lower default rates than the overall market, and that probably has helped stabilize this index.

On March New Home Sales:
New Home Sales in March at 328,000 Annual Rate
Comments on Housing and "Distressing Gap" GraphNew Home Sales graphs

On House Prices:
Case Shiller: House Prices fall to new post-bubble lows in February NSA
Real House Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio at late '90s Levels
House Price graphs

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