Thursday, October 25, 2012

Misc: Pending Home Sales index increases slightly, KC Mfg Index contracts, Remodeling increases

by Calculated Risk on 10/25/2012 11:00:00 AM

A few miscellaneous releases:

• From the NAR: September Pending Home Sales Show Slight Improvement

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, edged up 0.3 percent to 99.5 in September from 99.2 in August and is 14.5 percent above September 2011 when it was 86.9. The data reflect contracts but not closings.
Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this is for sales in October and November.

• From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Declined Slightly
Tenth District manufacturing activity declined slightly in October, and producers’ expectations for future activity fell considerably but remained slightly positive. Several producers commented on growing uncertainty related to the upcoming election and fiscal situation, which has put a hold on many customers’ orders and spending. Price indexes were mixed, with minimal changes overall.

The month-over-month composite index was -4 in October, down from 2 in September and 8 in August, and the lowest in over three years ... The employment index moved into negative territory for the first time this year, while the shipments index inched higher but still remained negative.

“We saw factories pull back this month for the first time in quite a while, which many firms attributed to the impact of the uncertain political and fiscal situation on customers’ willingness to order” said [Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City]. “Expectations also weakened considerably for production and employment but, encouragingly, factories’ capital spending plans for early next year remained largely intact.”
Another weak regional manufacturing survey.

• From the NAHB: Remodeling Market Index Climbs Five Points, Returns to 2005 Levels
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) climbed to 50 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 45 in the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Released today, the RMI is at its highest point since the third quarter of 2005, tracking the positive trends recently seen in the rest of the housing sector.
...
“The improvement in the RMI provides more evidence that the remodeling industry is making the orderly recovery from its low point in 2009 as we’ve been expecting,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Although remodeling projects over $25,000 are now showing some signs of strength, they are still lagging behind smaller property alterations and maintenance and repair jobs."