Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday: Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 12/21/2014 07:01:00 PM

From James Hamilton at Econbrowser: Do falling oil prices raise the threat of deflation?

If gasoline prices stay where they are and if we buy the same number of gallons of gasoline this year as last, that leaves us with an additional $160 billion to spend over the course of the year on other items. If we restate the total savings for U.S. consumers and businesses in terms of the 116 million U.S. households, that works out to almost $1400 per household.

It’s a particularly big deal for the lower-income households, who spend a much higher fraction of their income on energy.

Historically consumers have responded to windfalls like this by becoming more open to the big-ticket purchases that play a huge role in cyclical economic swings.
Monday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for November. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:00 AM, the Existing Home Sales for November from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 5.20 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in October were at a 5.26 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.90 million SAAR.

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of December 21st

Existing Home Sales: A Likely "Miss"

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures.

Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $57.13 per barrel and Brent at $61.38 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $99, and Brent was at $111 - so prices are down 42% and 45% year-over-year respectively.

Below is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are around $2.41 per gallon (down about 80 cents from a year ago).  If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.



Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com