Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Summary for the Week ending November 20th

by Calculated Risk on 11/21/2010 11:30:00 AM

Below is a summary of last week mostly in graphs. Note: A key story again last week was the imminent bailout of Ireland. There will probably be more on the bailout details later today.

  • Housing Starts declined in October

    Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image in new window.

    Total housing starts were at 519 thousand (SAAR) in October, down 11.7% from the revised September rate of 588 thousand, and just up 9% from the all time record low in April 2009 of 477 thousand (the lowest level since the Census Bureau began tracking housing starts in 1959).

    This was below expectations of 590 thousand starts, mostly because of the volatile multi-family starts. Single-family starts decreased 1.1% to 436 thousand in October. This is 21% above the record low in January 2009 (360 thousand).

    The graph shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that housing starts have mostly been moving sideways for almost two years - with a slight up and down over the last six months due to the home buyer tax credit. Starts will stay low until the excess inventory of existing homes is absorbed.

  • MBA National Delinquency Survey: Delinquency rate declines in Q3

    The MBA reported that 13.52 percent of mortgage loans were either one payment delinquent or in the foreclosure process in Q3 2010 (seasonally adjusted). This is down from 14.42 percent in Q2 2010.

    Note: the MBA's National Delinquency Survey (NDS) covered "about 44 million first-lien mortgages on one- to four-unit residential properties" and the "NDS is estimated to cover approximately 88 percent of the outstanding first lien mortgages in the market." This gives about 50 million total first lien mortgages or about 6.75 million delinquent or in foreclosure.

    MBA Delinquency by Period This graph shows the percent of loans delinquent by days past due.

    Most of the decline in the overall delinquency rate was in the seriously delinquent categories (90+ days or in foreclosure process). Part of the reason is lenders were being more aggressive in foreclosing in Q3 (before the foreclosure pause), and there was a surge in REO inventory (real estate owned). Some of the decline was probably related to modifications too.

    Loans 30 days delinquent decreased to 3.36%. This is slightly below the average levels of the last 2 years, but still high.

    Delinquent loans in the 60 day bucket decreased to 1.44% - the lowest since Q2 2008.

    With the foreclosure pause, the 90+ day and in foreclosure rates will probably increase in Q4.

  • CoreLogic: House Prices declined 1.8% in September

    The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average of July, August, and September and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

    Loan Performance House Price IndexThis graph shows the national CoreLogic HPI data since 1976. January 2000 = 100.

    The index is down 2.8% over the last year, and off 29.2% from the peak.

    The index is 3.9% above the low set in March 2009, and I expect to see a new post-bubble low for this index later this year or early in 2011.
    “We’re continuing to see price declines across the board with all but seven states seeing a decrease in home prices,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This continued and widespread decline will put further pressure on negative equity and stall the housing recovery.”
  • Retail Sales increased 1.2% in October

    Retail Sales On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 1.2% from September to October (seasonally adjusted, after revisions), and sales were up 7.3% from October 2009.

    Retail sales increased 0.4% ex-autos - about at expectations.

    This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).

    Retail sales are up 11.2% from the bottom, and only off 1.8% from the pre-recession peak.

  • Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Flat in October

    From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization
    Industrial production was unchanged in October after having fallen 0.2 percent in September. ... The capacity utilization rate for total industry was flat at 74.8 percent, a rate 6.6 percentage points above the low in June 2009 and 5.8 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
    Capacity Utilization This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 9.7% from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

    Capacity utilization at 74.8% is still far below normal - and well below the pre-recession levels of 81.2% in November 2007.

    Note: y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

    Industrial ProductionThe next graph shows industrial production since 1967.

    Industrial production was unchanged in October, and production is still 7.3% below the pre-recession levels at the end of 2007.

    This was below consensus expectations of a 0.3% increase in Industrial Production, and an increase to 74.9% for Capacity Utilization.

  • AIA: Architecture Billings Index showed contraction in October

    Note: This index is a leading indicator for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

    AIA Architecture Billing Index Reuters reported that the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index decreased to 48.7 in October from 50.4 in September. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

    This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index showed expansion in September (above 50) for the first time since Jan 2008, however the index is indicating contraction again in October.

    According to the AIA, there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction. So there will probably be further declines in CRE investment for the next 9 to 12 months.

  • NAHB Builder Confidence up slightly in November

    HMI and Starts Correlation The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 16 in November. This is a 1 point increase from the revised 15 in October (revised down from 16). This is the highest level since June, but slightly below expectations of an increase to 17. The record low was 8 set in January 2009, and 16 is still very low ...

    Note: any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.

    This graph compares the NAHB HMI (left scale) with single family housing starts (right scale). This includes the November release for the HMI and the September data for starts.

    This shows that the HMI and single family starts mostly move in the same direction - although there is plenty of noise month-to-month.

  • Inflation: Core CPI, Median CPI, 16% trimmed-mean CPI all below 1% YoY

    Over the last 12 months, the median CPI rose 0.5%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 0.8%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 0.6%. The indexes for rent and owners' equivalent rent both increased in October (some analysts blamed the disinflation trend on these measures of rent, but that wasn't true in October).

    Inflation MeasuresThis graph shows these three measure of inflation on a year-over-year basis.

    They all show that inflation has been falling, and that measured inflation is up less than 1% year-over-year.

    As far as disinflation, the U.S. is still tracking Japan in the '90s ...

  • Other Economic Stories ...
  • From the NY Fed: The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions deteriorated in November for New York State manufacturers.
  • From the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey: Results from the Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity showed improvement in November.
  • From the NY Times: Bernanke Speech Offers Support for Obama Policy
  • From Bloomberg: Bernanke Steps Up Stimulus Defense, Turns Tables on China
  • From the WSJ: Bernanke Takes Aim at China
  • Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 903 Institutions

    Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving to all!