by Bill McBride on 3/11/2014 07:11:00 PM
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Phoenix ARMLS: Total Sales down 17.4% year-over-year in February, Distressed Sales down 61%, Inventory up 37%
Another "bubble" area that has seen rapid price appreciation over the last two years. Now sales are declining and inventory is increasing.
The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service reported Statistics for February
• Total Sales are down 17.4% year-over-year.
• Distressed sales are down 60.7% year-over-year.
• Active inventory is up 36.6% year-over-year.
Inventory has clearly bottomed in Phoenix (A major theme for housing last year). And fewer distressed sales - probably less investor buying - and more inventory means price increases will slow.
There is commentary in the release from Tom Ruff. Excerpt:
In MLS, 5,474 total homes were sold in February, 14.1% higher than 4,797 in January 2014. As the monthly sales volume comparison is clearly seasonal, one must look at the year-over-year comparisons to get a clear view of sales activity. The February 2014 sales total was 17.4% lower than the total in February 2013 of 6,630. The last time we saw a lower sales volume in February was 2008 where only 3,448 sales were reported. Last year at this tie total inventory numbers were dropping, this year they continue to climb, up 4.2% to 29,661.
The imbalance we are seeing between supply and demand will exert downward pressure on pricing which will likely appear later this year.
CBO: Federal Deficit through February $148 billion less this year than it was in fiscal year 2013 (adjusted for timing)
by Bill McBride on 3/11/2014 02:30:00 PM
From the Congressional Budget Office (CBO): Monthly Budget Review for February 2014
The federal government ran a budget deficit of $379 billion for the first five months of fiscal year 2014, CBO estimates, $115 billion less than the shortfall recorded in the same span last year. Revenues are higher and outlays are lower than they were at this time a year ago. Without shifts in the timing of certain payments (which otherwise would have fallen on a weekend), the deficit for the five-month period would have been $148 billion less this year than it was in fiscal year 2013.And for February 2014:
The federal government incurred a deficit of $195 billion in February 2014, CBO estimates—$9 billion less than the $204 billion deficit incurred in February 2013. Because March 1 and February 1 both fell on a weekend in 2014, certain payments that ordinarily would have been made in March this year were made in February, and certain payments that would have been made in February were made in January. Without those shifts in the timing of payments, the deficit in February 2014 would have been $1 billion larger than it was.The consensus was the deficit for February would be around $218 billion, and it appears the deficit for fiscal 2014 will be smaller than the CBO currently expects (less than 3.0% of GDP).
CBO estimates that receipts in February totaled $144 billion—$21 billion (or 17 percent) more than those in the same month last year ... Total spending in February 2014 was $338 billion, CBO estimates, $12 billion more than outlays in the same month in 2013.
by Bill McBride on 3/11/2014 10:00:00 AM
From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary
There were 4.0 million job openings on the last business day of January, little changed from December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ...The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.
Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. ... The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending in January for total nonfarm, total private, and government.
This series started in December 2000.
Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for January, the most recent employment report was for February.
Click on graph for larger image.
Notice that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of turnover. When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs - when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.
Jobs openings decreased slightly in January to 3.974 million from 3.914 million in December.
The number of job openings (yellow) is up 7.6% year-over-year compared to January 2013.
Quits decreased in January and are up about 3% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").
Not much changes month-to-month in this report - and the data is noisy month-to-month, but the general trend suggests a gradually improving labor market. It is a good sign that job openings are close to 4.0 million and are at 2005 levels.
by Bill McBride on 3/11/2014 09:10:00 AM
From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): February optimism takes a tumble
Small business optimism continues its winter hibernation with the latest Index dropping 2.7 points to 91.4 ... NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.11 workers per firm in February (seasonally adjusted), virtually unchanged from January.Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986. The index decreased to 92.7 in February from 94.1 in January.
Monday, March 10, 2014
by Bill McBride on 3/10/2014 08:09:00 PM
Congratulations to Tom Lawler for winning another "Crystal Ball" award (most accurate 2- and 3-year forecasts ending in 2013 for panel of forecasters).
Also I've another great site to the right sidebar: House of Debt by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi (I've linked to several over their papers of the years and I'm happy to see them blogging).
• At 7:30 AM ET, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for February.
• At 10:00 AM, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for January from the BLS. The number of job openings were up 10.5% year-over-year in December compared to December 2012, and Quits increased in December and were up about 12% year-over-year.
• Also at 10:00 AM, Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for January. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in inventories.