Friday, December 28, 2012

Chicago PMI increases to 51.6, Pending Home Sales index increases

by Bill McBride on 12/28/2012 10:00:00 AM

• From the Chicago ISM:

December 2012:

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the Chicago Business Barometer was up for a third month, lumbering along since September's 3 year low. The Business Barometer was guided higher almost exclusively by a sizable advance in New Orders.
PMI: Increased to 51.6 from 50.4. (Above 50 is expansion).

Employment: at a three year low of 45.9, down from 55.2

New orders increased to 54.0 from 45.3.
This was above expectations of a reading of 51.0.

• From the NAR: November Pending Home Sales
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 1.7 percent to 106.4 in November from a downwardly revised 104.6 in October and is 9.8 percent above November 2011 when it was 96.9. The data reflect contracts but not closings.
The index is at the highest level since April 2010 when it hit 111.3 as buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit. With the exception of several months affected by tax stimulus, the last time there was a higher reading was in February 2007 when the index reached 107.9.
Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in December and January.  However, because of the increase in short sales that take longer to close, some of these contract signings are probably for a few months from now.  This was slightly below consensus expectations of a 1.8% increase.