Saturday, October 01, 2016

Schedule for Week of Oct 2, 2016

by Bill McBride on 10/01/2016 08:11:00 AM

The key report this week is the September employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include the September ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes, September auto sales, and the August trade deficit.

Also the quarterly Reis surveys for office, apartment and malls will be released this week.

A key focus will be on the second Presidential debate on Sunday, Oct 9th.

----- Monday, Oct 3rd -----

Early: Reis Q3 2016 Office Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

ISM PMI10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for September. The consensus is for the ISM to be at 50.2, up from 49.4 in August.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

The ISM manufacturing index indicated contraction at 49.4 in August. The employment index was at 48.3%, and the new orders index was at 49.1%.

10:00 AM: Construction Spending for August. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in construction spending.

Vehicle SalesAll day: Light vehicle sales for September. The consensus is for light vehicle sales to increase to 17.4 million SAAR in September, from 16.9 million in August (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

This graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The dashed line is the August sales rate.

----- Tuesday, Oct 4th -----

Early: Reis Q3 2016 Apartment Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

At 9:00 PM ET, the Vice Presidential Debate, at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia

----- Wednesday, Oct 5th -----

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for September. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 170,000 payroll jobs added in September, down from 177,000 added in August.

Early: Reis Q3 2016 Mall Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

U.S. Trade Deficit8:30 AM: Trade Balance report for August from the Census Bureau.

This graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through July. The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at $39.0 billion in August from $39.5 billion in July.

10:00 AM: Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders (Factory Orders) for August. The consensus is a 0.2% decrease in orders.

10:00 AM: the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for September. The consensus is for index to increase to 52.9 from 51.4 in August.

----- Thursday, Oct 6th -----

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 256 thousand initial claims, up from 254 thousand the previous week.

----- Friday, Oct 7th -----

8:30 AM: Employment Report for September. The consensus is for an increase of 168,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in September, up from the 126,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in August.

The consensus is for the unemployment rate to decline to 4.8%.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In August, the year-over-year change was 2.45 million jobs.

A key will be the change in wages.

3:00 PM: Consumer credit from the Federal Reserve.  The consensus is for a $16.8 billion increase in credit.

----- Sunday, Oct 9th -----

At 9:00 PM ET, the Second Presidential Debate, at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mortgage Rates "Near All Time Lows"

by Bill McBride on 9/30/2016 06:20:00 PM

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Mixed, But Closer to Recent Lows

Mortgage Rates were mixed today, with some lenders in slightly weaker territory while others offered modest improvements versus yesterday. The dichotomy has to do with the timing of yesterday's market movements. Bond market began the day in weak territory yesterday but improved noticeably by the end of the day. Some lenders sent out updated (better) rate sheets while others stood pat. Lenders whose rates increased today tended to come from the group that offered improvements yesterday afternoon. Long story short, there was a brief window of the week's best rates for some lenders yesterday with everyone getting mostly back on the same page today.

Fortunately, that page is still a good one. While rates aren't quite as low as they were earlier this week, they're still much lower than they were earlier this month. 3.375% is still the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed quotes on top tier scenarios. That's the lowest stably-held rate of all time (there have been lower rates, but only for a few days here and there), even though the upfront costs are slightly higher than they were in early August. That's splitting hairs though! The point is that, unless you're examining day-to-day rate movement under a microscope, rates have been holding steady near all-time lows.
emphasis added
Here is a table from Mortgage News Daily:

Restaurant Performance Index decreased in August

by Bill McBride on 9/30/2016 01:47:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: RPI drops into contraction territory

Due in large part to declines in both same-store sales and customer traffic, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in August. The RPI stood at 99.6, down 1.0 percent from a level of 100.6 in July.

“Broad-based declines in the current situation indicators caused the RPI to fall below 100 for the first time in eight months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. “Restaurant operators reported soft sales and traffic in August, along with corresponding dips in the labor indicators. While the Expectations component of the index remains in expansion territory, it too has trended downward in the past several months.”
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 99.6 in August, down from 100.6 in July. (below 100 indicates contraction).

Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is "D-list" data, I like to check it every month.

Chicago PMI increase in September, Final Sept Consumer Sentiment at 91.2

by Bill McBride on 9/30/2016 11:18:00 AM

Chicago PMI: September Chicago Business Barometer Up 2.7 Points to 54.2

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased 2.7 points to 54.2 in September from 51.5 in August, recovering most of lost ground experienced in the previous month.
In response to September’s special question, 79% of Chicago panellists said the run-up to November Presidential Elections is having a negligible impact on business.
“Economic growth in the US appears to have picked up a little at the end of the third quarter and although the Employment component fell, this was on the back of a relatively strong showing in the previous month. Note Employment usually lags changes in orders and output, so it was not that surprising to see this component weakening in September,” said Lorena Castellanos, senior economist at MNI Indicators
emphasis added
This was above the consensus forecast of 52.0.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

The final consumer sentiment reading was 91.2 in September, up from 89.8 in August.
"Confidence edged upward in September due to gains among higher income households, while the Sentiment Index among households with incomes under $75,000 has remained at exactly the same level for the third consecutive month. Importantly, the data provide no evidence of an upward trend as the average level of the Sentiment Index since the start of 2016 is nearly identical with the September level (91.4 versus 91.2). "
emphasis added
This was above the consensus forecast.

Personal Income increased 0.2% in August, Spending increased less than 0.1%

by Bill McBride on 9/30/2016 08:38:00 AM

The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for August:

Personal income increased $39.3 billion (0.2 percent) in August according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. ... personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $6.2 billion (less than 0.1 percent).
Real PCE decreased 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.
The August PCE price index increased 1.0 percent year-over-year and the August PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 1.7 percent year-over-year.

The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through August 2016 (2009 dollars). Note that the y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Personal Consumption Expenditures Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed red lines are the quarterly levels for real PCE.

The increase in personal income was at consensus expectations.  And the increase in PCE was below the 0.2% increase consensus.

Using the two-month method to estimate Q3 PCE growth, PCE was increasing at a 3.1% annual rate in Q3 2016. (using the mid-month method, PCE was increasing 2.6%). This suggests decent PCE growth in Q3, even with the weak August report.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Friday: Personal Income, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment

by Bill McBride on 9/29/2016 08:21:00 PM

From Merrill Lynch: Elections: what keeps us up at night?

The US elections are quickly approaching and, in our view, have become one of the most significant near-term risks for the economy and markets. The facts are changing quickly, both in terms of the policies that each candidate supports but also in terms of expectations over the outcome of the election. According to the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) and PredictWise, Clinton currently has about a 70-75% chance of winning the election. FiveThirtyEight, a political aggregator, is expecting a closer race with Clinton’s chances at only about 60%. According to IEM and PredictWise, the probability of Republicans retaining control of the House is running at 70%-90%, and the probability of Democrats taking control of the Senate is about 40%-60%.

Although the race has narrowed, the markets and political aggregators are suggesting the most likely outcome is split government, with Hillary Clinton in the White House and the Republicans in control of the House. This would imply that the gridlock in Washington continues and that policy changes would not be significant – which is assumed in our baseline economic forecasts. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of a Republican sweep. As our strategists have noted, the initial reaction to a potential Trump victory would likely be a risk-off event in the markets, which we think could end up delaying the Fed from hiking in December.
emphasis added
CR Note: All key analysts are assuming Ms. Clinton will be the next President (my forecasts also assume a Clinton presidency).  The alternative is too grim to contemplate.

• At 8:30 AM ET, Personal Income and Outlays for August. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in personal income, and for a 0.2% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.2%.

• At 9:45 AM, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for September. The consensus is for a reading of 52.0, up from 51.5 in August.

• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for September). The consensus is for a reading of 90.1, up from the preliminary reading 89.8.

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in August, Lowest since April 2008

by Bill McBride on 9/29/2016 05:09:00 PM

Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in August to 1.24%, down from 1.30% in July. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.62% in August 2015.

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

This is the lowest rate since April 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

Although the rate is generally declining, the "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%. 

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.38 percentage points over the last year, and at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% for about 8 more months.

Note: Freddie Mac reported yesterday.

Zillow Forecast: Expect Similar YoY Growth in August for the Case-Shiller Indexes

by Bill McBride on 9/29/2016 01:37:00 PM

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for July were released Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: August Case-Shiller Forecast: New Home Price Peaks Within Sight

According to Zillow’s August Case-Shiller forecast, the national index and both smaller 10 and 20-city indices look set to keep growing at a very similar rate as they have been for the past few months. After two full years of steady growth around 5 percent annually, the U.S. National Case-Shiller home price index is within striking distance of reaching its July 2006 peak levels, just 0.6 percent off those levels, according to today’s data.

The August Case-Shiller National Index is expected to grow 5.2 percent year-over-year and 0.5 percent month-to-month (seasonally adjusted). We expect the 10-City Index to grow 4.1 percent year-over-year and to stay flat (SA) from July. The 20-City Index is expected to grow 4.9 percent between August 2015 and August 2016, and rise 0.1 percent (SA) from July.

Zillow’s August Case-Shiller forecast is shown in the table below. These forecasts are based on today’s July Case-Shiller data release and the August 2016 Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). The August S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices will not be officially released until Tuesday, October 25.
The year-over-year change for the 20-city index will probably be slightly lower in the August report than in the July report.  The change for the National index will probably be slightly higher.

Zillow forecast for Case-Shiller

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.4% in August, down 0.2% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 9/29/2016 10:03:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Retreat in August

After bouncing back in July, pending home sales cooled in August for the third time in four months and to their lowest level since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.4 percent to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July and is now slightly lower (0.2 percent) than August 2015 (108.7). With last month's decline, the index is now at its second lowest reading this year after January (105.4).
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 1.3 percent to 98.1 in August, and is now 5.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.9 percent to 104.7 in August, and is now 1.7 percent lower than August 2015.

Pending home sales in the South declined 3.2 percent to an index of 119.8 in August and are now 1.5 percent lower than last August. The index in the West fell 5.3 percent in August to 102.8, and is now 0.6 percent lower than a year ago.
emphasis added
This was well below expectations of a 0.5% increase for this index.  Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in September and October.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 254,000

by Bill McBride on 9/29/2016 08:38:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending September 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 254,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 252,000 to 251,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 258,500 to 258,250.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 82 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.
The previous week was revised down.

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 256,000.

This was lower than the consensus forecast of 260,000. The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.