Friday, May 26, 2017

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate unchanged in April

by Bill McBride on 5/26/2017 02:44:00 PM

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate in April was at 0.92%, unchanged from 0.92% in March.  Freddie's rate is down from 1.15% in April 2016.

Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

This matches last month as the lowest serious delinquency rate since May 2008.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure". 

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

Although the rate is still declining, the rate of decline has slowed.

Maybe the rate will decline another 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points or so to a cycle bottom, but this is pretty close to normal.

Note: Fannie Mae will report for April soon.

Q2 GDP Forecasts

by Bill McBride on 5/26/2017 11:54:00 AM

From Merrill Lynch:

[T]he data [today] pushed down 2Q GDP tracking by a tenth to 2.5% qoq saar. The main drag was from the weak durables report, while revisions to 1Q GDP caused some modest shifts in the 2Q components.
From the Altanta Fed: GDPNow
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2017 is 3.7 percent on May 26, down from 4.1 percent on May 16. The forecast for second-quarter real residential investment growth fell from 8.3 percent to 3.1 percent after Tuesday's housing related releases from the U.S. Census Bureau and Wednesday's existing-home sales release from the National Association of Realtors.
emphasis added
From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report
The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 2.2% for 2017:Q2.

News from this week’s data releases reduced the nowcast for 2017:Q2 by 0.1 percentage point as the positive impact from wholesale inventories data was more than offset by the negative impact from the advance durable goods report and new home sales data.

Q1 GDP Revised up to 1.2% Annual Rate

by Bill McBride on 5/26/2017 09:48:00 AM

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2017 (Second Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.1 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 0.7 percent. With this second estimate for the first quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; increases in nonresidential fixed investment and in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) were larger and the decrease in state and local government spending was smaller than previously estimated. These revisions were partly offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment ...
emphasis added
Here is a Comparison of Second and Advance Estimates. PCE growth was revised up from 0.3% to 0.6%. (weak PCE). Residential investment was revised up slightly from 13.7% to +13.8%. This was above the consensus forecast.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friday: GDP

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2017 09:56:00 PM

• At 8:30 AM ET, Durable Goods Orders for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.9% decrease in durable goods orders.

• Also at 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 1st quarter 2017 (Second estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 0.8% annualized in Q1, up from the advance estimate of 0.7%.

• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for May). The consensus is for a reading of 97.6, down from the preliminary reading 97.7.

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 41 states in April

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2017 01:48:00 PM

From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for April 2017. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 46 states and decreased in four, for a three-month diffusion index of 84. In the past month, the indexes increased in 41 states and decreased in nine, for a one-month diffusion index of 64.
Note: These are coincident indexes constructed from state employment data. An explanation from the Philly Fed:
The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.
Philly Fed Number of States with Increasing ActivityClick on graph for larger image.

This is a graph is of the number of states with one month increasing activity according to the Philly Fed. This graph includes states with minor increases (the Philly Fed lists as unchanged).

In April, 41 states had increasing activity (including minor increases).

The downturn in 2015 and 2016, in the number of states increasing, was mostly related to the decline in oil prices.   The reason for the recent decrease in the number of states with increasing activity is unclear - and might be revised away.

Philly Fed State Conincident Map Here is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. This map was all red during the worst of the recession, and almost all green now.

Source: Philly Fed. Note: For complaints about red / green issues, please contact the Philly Fed.

Kansas City Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity "Expanded Modestly" in May

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2017 11:00:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Expanded Modestly

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the May Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded moderately with strong expectations for future activity.

“After slowing from a rapid rate of growth in February and March, we’ve seen more moderate growth the past two months,” said Wilkerson.  “But firms are about as optimistic about future growth as they’ve ever been.”
The month-over-month composite index was 8 in May, up from 7 in April but down from 20 in March.  The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes.  Activity at durable manufacturing plants eased slightly but remained positive, while nondurable activity improved, particularly for plastics and chemicals.  Month-over-month indexes were mixed with little change overall.  The production and shipments indexes edged slightly lower, while the employment and order backlog indexes inched higher.  The new orders and new orders for exports indexes were both basically unchanged.  The finished goods inventory index fell from 8 to 0, while the raw materials inventory index was stable. 
emphasis added
The Kansas City region was hit hard by the decline in oil prices, but activity is expanding again.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 234,000

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2017 08:34:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending May 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 234,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 232,000 to 233,000. The 4-week moving average was 235,250, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 14, 1973 when it was 232,750. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 240,750 to 241,000.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised up by 1,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 235,250 - the lowest since 1973.

This was lower than the consensus forecast.

The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thursday: Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 5/24/2017 07:14:00 PM

Some interesting analysis from Josh Lehner at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis: States at Full Employment, A Prime-Age EPOP Story

The key economic question economists are trying to answer today is whether or not the U.S. economy is at full employment. Given it is more a concept then a hard calculation, you look for signs in the data that suggest the economy is there. In terms of jobs and the unemployment rate, there is no question the data do suggest this. However, at least nationally, wage growth is still relatively slow, albeit picking up some, and inflation remains consistently below target.

Here in Oregon we’re checking more of the boxes than the U.S. overall. Not only have we seen stronger wage gains, but we got the labor force response in terms of rising participation rates. Furthermore, now that the labor market is tight, we are seeing slower job growth which is also expected. Again, I don’t think we’re quite there just yet, but in looking across the nation it’s clear that Oregon is closer than most states.
Specifically, when it comes the share of the prime working-age population that actually has a job, those between 25 and 54 years old, just two — two! — states are back to where they were last decade, let alone the late 1990s.
The decline in the prime working age EPOP is a long term trend, and I suspect that after adjusted for the long term trend, and maybe a little for population (the 50 to 54 age cohort has a lower participation rate than most other prime cohorts), more states would be back to the levels of a decade ago.

• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 237 thousand initial claims, up from 232 thousand the previous week.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for May.

Black Knight: Mortgage Delinquencies Increased in April

by Bill McBride on 5/24/2017 03:07:00 PM

From Black Knight: Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at April 2017 Mortgage Data

• First-lien mortgage delinquencies rose by 13 percent, the largest monthly increase since November 2008

• Month-over-month, the number of borrowers past due on mortgage payments increased by 241,000

• April’s delinquency rate increase was primarily calendar-driven (due to both the month ending on a Sunday and March being the typical calendar-year low) and largely isolated to early-stage delinquencies

• The inventory of loans in active foreclosure continues to decline, hitting a 10-year low in April

• At just 52,800, April saw the fewest monthly foreclosure starts since January 2005
According to Black Knight's First Look report for April, the percent of loans delinquent increased 12.9% in April compared to March, and declined 3.6% year-over-year.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined 3.5% in April and were down 27.3% over the last year.

Black Knight reported the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) was 4.08% in April, up from 3.62% in March.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined in April to 0.85%.

The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is down 74,000 properties year-over-year, and the number of properties in the foreclosure process is down 162,000 properties year-over-year.

Black Knight: Percent Loans Delinquent and in Foreclosure Process
In Foreclosure0.85%0.88%1.17%1.63%
Number of properties:
Number of properties that are delinquent, but not in foreclosure:2,072,0001,831,0002,146,0002,381,000
Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory:433,000448,000820,0001,064,000
Total Properties2,505,0002,279,0002,741,0003,201,000

FOMC Minutes: More details on Balance Sheet Reduction

by Bill McBride on 5/24/2017 02:05:00 PM

From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, May 2-3, 2017. Excerpts:

Participants continued their discussion of issues related to potential changes to the Committee's policy of reinvesting principal payments from securities held in the SOMA. The staff provided a briefing that summarized a possible operational approach to reducing the System's securities holdings in a gradual and predictable manner. Under the proposed approach, the Committee would announce a set of gradually increasing caps, or limits, on the dollar amounts of Treasury and agency securities that would be allowed to run off each month, and only the amounts of securities repayments that exceeded the caps would be reinvested each month. As the caps increased, reinvestments would decline, and the monthly reductions in the Federal Reserve's securities holdings would become larger. The caps would initially be set at low levels and then be raised every three months, over a set period of time, to their fully phased-in levels. The final values of the caps would then be maintained until the size of the balance sheet was normalized.

Nearly all policymakers expressed a favorable view of this general approach. Policymakers noted that preannouncing a schedule of gradually increasing caps to limit the amounts of securities that could run off in any given month was consistent with the Committee's intention to reduce the Federal Reserve's securities holdings in a gradual and predictable manner as stated in the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans. Limiting the magnitude of the monthly reductions in the Federal Reserve's securities holdings on an ongoing basis could help mitigate the risk of adverse effects on market functioning or outsized effects on interest rates. The approach would also likely be fairly straightforward to communicate. Moreover, under this approach, the process of reducing the Federal Reserve's securities holdings, once begun, could likely proceed without a need for the Committee to make adjustments as long as there was no material deterioration in the economic outlook.

Policymakers agreed that the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans should be augmented soon to provide additional details about the operational plan to reduce the Federal Reserve's securities holdings over time. Nearly all policymakers indicated that as long as the economy and the path of the federal funds rate evolved as currently expected, it likely would be appropriate to begin reducing the Federal Reserve's securities holdings this year. Policymakers agreed to continue in June their discussion of plans for a change to the Committee's reinvestment policy.
emphasis added