NEW! CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Misc: Kansas City Fed manufacturing index "Rebounds", "Flash PMI" shows slower expansion, Mortgage Rates at record low

by Calculated Risk on 5/24/2012 12:32:00 PM

• From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Eased Further but Activity Remained Expansionary

Growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity rebounded in May, and producers were more optimistic than in previous months. The majority of producers reported stable or increasing capital spending plans in the next six to twelve months, with very few anticipating a decrease. Most price indexes moderated, although more producers than in April plan to raise selling prices in future months.

The month-over-month composite index was 9 in May, up from 3 in April and equal to 9 in March ... In contrast, the employment index eased slightly from 12 to 8.
The regional manufacturing surveys have been mixed in May. The NY (Empire State) and Kansas City Fed surveys showed faster expansion, but the Richmond Fed showed slower expansion. And the Philly Fed survey showed contraction.

• Also for manufacturing, the new Markit Flash PMI showed slower expansion. From Markit: PMI falls to three-month low, signalling slower rate of manufacturing expansion
The May Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) indicated a solid improvement in U.S. manufacturing sector business conditions, according to the preliminary ‘flash’ reading which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies. However, with the seasonally adjusted PMI falling from 56.0 in April to 53.9, the headline PMI nonetheless signalled the weakest expansion in three months.
This is the first release of the Flash PMI, and it has no track record of predicting the ISM number (the May report will be released June 1st).

• From Freddie Mac: Historic Lows for Fixed Mortgage Rates Hold Steady
Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the record lows for average fixed mortgage rates holding steady for the week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked slightly down to 3.78 percent and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged from last week at 3.04 percent.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.78 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending May 24, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.79 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.60 percent.