Sunday, July 31, 2016

Monday: ISM Mfg, Construction Spending

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2016 07:45:00 PM

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of July 31, 2016

Monday:
• At 10:00 AM ET: ISM Manufacturing Index for July. The consensus is for the ISM to be at 53.2, unchanged from June. The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion at 53.2% in June. The employment index was at 50.4%, and the new orders index was at 57.0%.

• Also at 10:00 AM: Construction Spending for June. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in construction spending.

• At 2:00 PM, the July 2016 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P are up 3 and DOW futures are up 38 (fair value).

Oil prices were down over the last week with WTI futures at $41.34 per barrel and Brent at $43.25 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $47, and Brent was at $53 - so prices are down 15% to 20% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.13 per gallon (down over $0.55 per gallon from a year ago).

CoStar: Commercial Real Estate prices increased in June

by Bill McBride on 7/31/2016 10:09:00 AM

Here is a price index for commercial real estate that I follow. 

From CoStar: Commercial Property Price Growth Rebounds In Second Quarter

CRE PRICE INDICES RESUMED HEALTHY GROWTH IN SECOND QUARTER. After experiencing modest growth in the first quarter of 2016 in the wake of global economic uncertainty, both CCRSI’s national composite price indices ended the second quarter of 2016 on a stronger note as investor confidence rebounded. The value-weighted U.S. Composite Index, which is influenced by the sale of high-quality, larger assets, advanced by 3.3%, while the equal-weighted U.S. Composite Index, which reflects the more numerous sales of smaller properties, rose 2.1% in the second quarter of 2016.

HOWEVER, THE PACE OF PRICE GROWTH HAS MODERATED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. While price growth resumed in both composite indices during the second quarter of 2016, the rate of increase has dropped into the single digits as of June 2016 from a double-digit annual pace in the 12-month periods ending in June 2014 and June 2015. This suggests the pace of price growth may continue to plateau in 2016 as the current cycle advances. ...
emphasis added
Commercial Real Estate Prices Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from CoStar shows the the value-weighted U.S. Composite Index and the equal-weighted U.S. Composite Index indexes.

The value-weighted index increased 1.4% in June and is up 9.0% year-over-year.

The equal-weighted index increased 1.3% in May and is up 6.8% year-over-year.

Note: These are repeat sales indexes - like Case-Shiller for residential - but this is based on far fewer pairs.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Schedule for Week of July 31, 2016

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2016 08:09:00 AM

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

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

----- Monday, Aug 1st -----

ISM PMI10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for July. The consensus is for the ISM to be at 53.2, unchanged from 53.2 in June.

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

The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion at 53.2% in June. The employment index was at 50.4%, and the new orders index was at 57.0%.

10:00 AM: Construction Spending for June. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in construction spending.

2:00 PM ET: the July 2016 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve.

----- Tuesday, Aug 2nd -----

8:30 AM: Personal Income and Outlays for June. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in personal income, and for a 0.3% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.1%.

Vehicle SalesAll day: Light vehicle sales for July. The consensus is for light vehicle sales to increase to 17.3 million SAAR in July, from 16.6 million in June (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

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

----- Wednesday, Aug 3rd -----

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 July. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 165,000 payroll jobs added in July, down from 172,000 added in June.

10:00 AM: the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for July. The consensus is for index to decrease to 56.0 from 56.5 in June.

----- Thursday, Aug 4th -----

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 265 thousand initial claims, down from 266 thousand the previous week.

10:00 AM: Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders (Factory Orders) for June. The consensus is a 1.8% decrease in orders.

----- Friday, Aug 5th -----

8:30 AM: Employment Report for July. The consensus is for an increase of 185,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in July, down from the 287,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in June.

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

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

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

A key will be the change in wages.

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

This graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through May. 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 $43.0 billion in June from $41.1 billion in May.

3:00 PM: Consumer credit from the Federal Reserve.  The consensus is for a $15.5 billion increase in credit.

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 2016: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 196 Institutions

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 08:33:00 PM

This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for July 2016.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for July 2016. During the month, the list fell from 203 institutions to 196 after seven removals. Assets dropped by $1.7 billion to an aggregate $58.9 billion. A year ago, the list held 290 institutions with assets of $83.9 billion.

Actions have been terminated against Ponce de Leon Federal Bank, Bronx, NY ($721 million); Pilot Bank, Tampa, FL ($230 million); Native American Bank, National Association, Denver, CO ($83 million); Georgia Heritage Bank, Dallas, GA ($74 million); and Century Bank of Florida, Tampa, FL ($74 million).

Finding merger partners were Tidelands Bank, Mount Pleasant, SC ($464 million Ticker: TDBK) and Calumet County Bank, Brillion, WI ($89 million).

Lawler: Homebuilder Summary Table for Q2 2016

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 04:01:00 PM

CR Note: Housing economist Tom Lawler sent me these summary results for several large publicly-traded builders who have reported results for last quarter.

Lawler notes: CalAtlantic was formed with the merger of Standard Pacific and Ryland, completed in October 2015. The Q2/2015 statistics for CalAtlantic are pro forma statistics for Standard Pacific and Ryland combined. Also, while MDC Holdings has not yet released its “official” results for Q2/2016, it did release preliminary estimates of selected operations statistics for the quarter, which are shown above.

  Net OrdersSettlementsAverage Closing
Price (000s)
Qtr. Ended:6166/15% Chg6/166/15% Chg6/166/15% Chg
D.R.
Horton
11,71410,39812.7%10,7399,8569.0%$2902900.2%
Pulte
Group
5,6975,11811.3%4,7723,74427.5%$36733210.5%
NVR4,3243,79613.9%3,5813,17512.8%$379384-1.5%
Cal
Atlantic
3,9213,954-0.8%3,4843,11911.7%$4474274.7%
Beazer
Homes
1,4901,524-2.2%1,3641,2935.5%$3303184.0%
Meritage
Homes
2,0731,9864.4%1,9501,55625.3%$4083807.4%
MDC
Holdings
1,6471,48111.2%1,2721,12613.0%$4484109.3%
M/I
Homes
1,3541,10023.1%1,04291913.4%$3623406.5%
SubTotal32,22029,3579.8%28,20424,78813.8%$354$3404.0%

Restaurant Performance Index declined in June

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 03:36:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: RPI continues to show mixed results

As a result of softer sales and a dampened outlook among operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined for the second consecutive month. The RPI stood at 100.3 in June, down 0.3 percent.

“The uneven trend that the RPI followed during the first half of 2016 was due in large part to choppy same-store sales and customer traffic results,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association.

“This uncertainly likely contributed to the Expectations Index dipping to a six-month low in June. However, it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions in either direction right at this point, because the indicators continue to send mixed signals,” Riehle said.
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 100.3 in June, down from 100.6 in May. (above 100 indicates expansion).

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

Q2 GDP: Investment Slump

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 11:52:00 AM

The graph below shows the contribution to GDP from residential investment, equipment and software, and nonresidential structures (3 quarter trailing average). This is important to follow because residential investment tends to lead the economy, equipment and software is generally coincident, and nonresidential structure investment trails the economy.

In the graph, red is residential, green is equipment and software, and blue is investment in non-residential structures. So the usual pattern - both into and out of recessions is - red, green, blue.

The dashed gray line is the contribution from the change in private inventories.

Investment ContributionsClick on graph for larger image.

There was an investment slump in Q2, even though consumer spending was strong (PCE increased at 4.2% annual rate in Q2).

Residential investment (RI) decreased at a 6.1% annual rate in Q2.  Equipment investment decreased at a 3.5% annual rate, and investment in non-residential structures decreased at a 7.9% annual rate.

On a 3 quarter trailing average basis, RI (red) is positive,  equipment (green) and nonresidential structures (blue) are negative.

Nonresidential investment in structures typically lags the recovery, however investment in energy and power provided a boost early in this recovery - and is now causing a decline.  I'll post more on the components of non-residential investment once the supplemental data is released.

I expect investment to pick up going forward (except for maybe energy and power), and for the economy to grow at a steady pace.

Residential Investment
The second graph shows residential investment as a percent of GDP.

Residential Investment as a percent of GDP has generally been increasing, but is only just above the bottom of the previous recessions - and I expect RI to continue to increase for the next few years.

I'll break down Residential Investment into components after the GDP details are released.

Note: Residential investment (RI) includes new single family structures, multifamily structures, home improvement, broker's commissions, and a few minor categories.

non-Residential InvestmentThe third graph shows non-residential investment in structures, equipment and "intellectual property products".  Investment in equipment - as a percent of GDP - has been mostly moving sideways.  Investment in nonresidential structures - as a percent of GDP - has been moving down recently due to less investment in energy and power.

Although there was an investment slump in Q2 - no worries - residential investment will pickup (still very low), and non-residential (except energy) will also pickup.  Investment in inventory has been negative for five consecutive quarters, and that should make a positive contribution soon.

Chicago PMI declines in July, Final July Consumer Sentiment at 90.0

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 10:15:00 AM

Chicago PMI: July Chicago Business Barometer Down 1 Point to 55.8

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer fell 1 point to 55.8 in July from the 1½-year high of 56.8 in June, led by a fall in New Orders. Smaller declines were seen in Production and Order Backlogs, which offset a strong increase in the Employment component.

The Barometer’s three-month average, though, which provides a better picture of the underlying trend in economic activity, rose to 54.0 from 52.2 in Q2, the highest since February 2015.
...
“Demand and output softened somewhat in July following a solid showing in June but still outperformed the very weak results seen earlier in the year. On the upside, it was the first time since January 2015 that all five Barometer components were above 50. Looking at the three-month average, the Chicago Business Barometer so far suggests economic activity running at a healthier pace in Q3,” said Lorena Castellanos, senior economist at MNI Indicators.
emphasis added
This was above the consensus forecast of 54.0.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July was at 90.0, up from the preliminary reading 89.5, and down from 93.5 in June.
"Although confidence strengthened in late July, for the month as a whole the Sentiment Index was still below last month's level mainly due to increased concerns about economic prospects among upper income households. The Brexit vote was spontaneously mentioned by record numbers of households with incomes in the top third (23%), more than twice as frequently as among households with incomes in the bottom two-thirds (11%). Given the prompt rebound in stock prices as well as the tiny direct impact on U.S. trade, it is surprising that concerns about Brexit remained nearly as high in late July as immediately following the Brexit vote. While concerns about Brexit are likely to quickly recede, weaker prospects for the economy are likely to remain. Uncertainties surrounding global economic prospects and the presidential election will keep consumers more cautious in their expectations for future economic growth. "
emphasis added

BEA: Real GDP increased at 1.2% Annualized Rate in Q2

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2016 08:37:00 AM

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2016 (Advance Estimate)

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.8 percent (revised).
...
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected an acceleration in PCE, an upturn in exports, and smaller decreases in nonresidential fixed investment and in federal government spending. These were partly offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment, and downturns in residential fixed investment and in state and local government spending.
emphasis added
The advance Q1 GDP report, with 1.2% annualized growth, was below expectations of a 2.6% increase.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased at a 4.2% annualized rate in Q2, up from 1.6% in Q1.   Residential investment (RI) decreased at a 6.1% pace. Equipment investment decreased at a 3.5% annualized rate, and investment in non-residential structures decreased at a 7.9% pace (due to the recent decline in oil prices).

The key negatives were investment in inventories (subtracted 1.16 percentage points), fixed investment (subtracted 0.52 percentage point), and government spending (subtracted 0.16 percentage points).

I'll have more later ...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friday: Q2 GDP, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 08:14:00 PM

Note: As part of the GDP release tomorrow, the BEA will also release the annual revision. From the BEA:

The annual revision of the national income and product accounts, covering the first quarter of 2013 through the first quarter of 2016, will be released along with the "advance" estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2016 on July 29. For more information, see “Preview of the Upcoming Annual NIPA Revision” included in the May Survey of Current Business article on “GDP and the Economy”.
Friday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 2nd quarter 2016 (Advance estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.6% annualized in Q2. The annual revision will also be released.

• At 9:45 AM, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for July. The consensus is for a reading of 54.0, down from 56.8 in June.

• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for July). The consensus is for a reading of 90.6, up from the preliminary reading 89.5, and down from 93.5 in June.

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since May 2008

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 05:04:00 PM

Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 1.32%, down from 1.38% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.66% in June 2015.

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

This is the lowest rate since May 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 0.34 percentage points over the last year, and at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until the second half of 2017.

Note: Freddie Mac reported yesterday.

Zillow Forecast: Expect slightly slower YoY Growth in June for the Case-Shiller Indexes

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 03:51:00 PM

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for May 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: June Case-Shiller Forecast: Expect a Third Straight Monthly Decline in 10- and 20-City Indices

May Case-Shiller data showed modestly slower growth largely in line with expectations, with seasonally adjusted home prices falling for two months in a row on the 10- and 20-city indices – a rare occurrence since the recovery began in earnest. Looking ahead, Zillow’s June Case-Shiller forecast calls for more of the same, with seasonally adjusted prices in the 10- and 20-city indices set to fall for a third straight month, while annual growth stays largely flat.

The June Case-Shiller National Index is expected to grow 5.1 percent year-over-year and 0.2 percent month-to-month (seasonally adjusted). We expect the 10-City Index to grow 4.1 percent year-over-year and to fall 0.2 percent (SA) from May. The 20-City Index is expected to grow 5 percent between June 2015 and June 2016, and fall 0.1 percent (SA) from May.

Zillow’s June Case-Shiller forecast is shown in the table below. These forecasts are based on today’s May Case-Shiller data release and the June 2016 Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). The June Case-Shiller Composite Home Price Indices will not be officially released until Tuesday, August 30.
The year-over-year change for the 20-city index will probably be slightly lower in the June report than in the May report.  The change for the National index will probably be about the same.

Zillow forecast for Case-Shiller

Kansas City Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity "Declined Modestly" in July

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 11:21:00 AM

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

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the July 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 declined modestly.

“Factories in our region reported a slight pullback in July following modest expansion in June,” said Wilkerson. “However, their expectations for future activity continued to increase.”
...
The month-over-month composite index was -6 in July, down from 2 in June and -5 in May ... The employment index inched down to -5 ...
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for July.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through July), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through July) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through June (right axis).

It seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will show expansion again in July.

HVS: Q2 2016 Homeownership and Vacancy Rates

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 10:10:00 AM

The Census Bureau released the Residential Vacancies and Homeownership report for Q2 2016.

This report is frequently mentioned by analysts and the media to track household formation, the homeownership rate, and the homeowner and rental vacancy rates.  However, there are serious questions about the accuracy of this survey.

This survey might show the trend, but I wouldn't rely on the absolute numbers.  The Census Bureau is investigating the differences between the HVS, ACS and decennial Census, and analysts probably shouldn't use the HVS to estimate the excess vacant supply or household formation, or rely on the homeownership rate, except as a guide to the trend.

Homeownership Rate Click on graph for larger image.

The Red dots are the decennial Census homeownership rates for April 1st 1990, 2000 and 2010. The HVS homeownership rate decreased to 63.1% in Q2, from 63.5% in Q1.

I'd put more weight on the decennial Census numbers - and given changing demographics, the homeownership rate is probably close to a bottom.

Homeowner Vacancy RateThe HVS homeowner vacancy was unchanged at 1.7% in Q2. 

Once again - this probably shows the general trend, but I wouldn't rely on the absolute numbers.

Rental Vacancy RateThe rental vacancy rate declined to 6.7% in Q2.

I think the Reis quarterly survey (large apartment owners only in selected cities) is a much better measure of the rental vacancy rate - and the Reis survey is showing rental vacancy rates have started to increase.

The quarterly HVS is the most timely survey on households, but there are many questions about the accuracy of this survey.

Overall this suggests that vacancies have declined significantly, and my guess is the homeownership rate is probably close to the bottom.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 264,000

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2016 08:35:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending July 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 266,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 253,000 to 252,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,500, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 257,750 to 257,500.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 73 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973.
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 declined to 256,500.

This was close to the consensus forecast. The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thursday: Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2016 07:13:00 PM

Based on the FOMC statement, the likelihood of a rate hike in September (or November or December) has increased. Most analysts talk about possible rate hikes in September or December (ignoring November) because of the scheduled press conferences. However Fed Chair Janet Yellen has made it clear that all meetings are "live", so November is possible too. Some people think the Fed will wait until after the election, but I doubt that is a factor being considered.

Back to the FOMC statement: The first paragraph was about as upbeat as back in April when many analysts thought a rate hike in June was possible. So now the key is the data (the minutes will also be interesting). There are two employment reports (the July and August reports) between now and the meeting on September 20th and 21st.  Also the advance and second estimate of Q2 GDP will be released, and PCE for June and July, and CPI for July and August will be released before the September meeting.  If the data is solid, the FOMC might raise rates in September.

If the data is disappointing - as has happened so many times before - the FOMC will wait.

Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 264 thousand initial claims, up from 253 thousand the previous week.

• At 10:00 AM, the Q2 Housing Vacancies and Homeownership from the Census Bureau.

• At 11:00 AM, Kansas City Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for July.  This is the last of the regional Fed surveys for July.

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rates declined in June, Lowest since July 2008

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2016 03:47:00 PM

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate decreased in June to 1.08% from 1.11% in May.  Freddie's rate is down from 1.53% in June 2015.

This is the lowest rate since July 2008.

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

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

The Freddie Mac serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.45 percentage points over the last year, and at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will be below 1% in two or three months.

Note: Fannie Mae will report in the next few days.

FOMC Statement: No Change to Policy, Upgrade Economy, Risks "diminished"

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2016 02:02:00 PM

FOMC Statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market strengthened and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate rate. Job gains were strong in June following weak growth in May. On balance, payrolls and other labor market indicators point to some increase in labor utilization in recent months. Household spending has been growing strongly but business fixed investment has been soft. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will strengthen. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Loretta J. Mester; Jerome H. Powell; Eric Rosengren; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action was Esther L. George, who preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent. emphasis added

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increased Slightly in June, up 1.0% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2016 10:04:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Marginally Rise in June

Pending home sales were mostly unmoved in June, but did creep slightly higher as supply and affordability constraints prevented a bigger boost in activity from mortgage rates that lingered near all-time lows through most of the month, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Increases in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the South and West.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, inched 0.2 percent to 111.0 in June from 110.8 in May and is now 1.0 percent higher than June 2015 (109.9). With last month's minor improvement, the index is now at its second highest reading over the past 12 months, but is noticeably down from this year's peak level in April (115.0).
...
The PHSI in the Northeast advanced 3.2 percent to 96.0 in June, and is now 1.7 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index increased 0.8 percent to 108.9 in June, and is now 1.6 percent higher than June 2015.

Pending home sales in the South decreased modestly (0.6 percent) to an index of 125.9 in June but are still 1.8 percent higher than last June. The index in the West declined 1.3 percent in June to 101.3, and is now 1.8 percent below a year ago.
emphasis added
This was below expectations of a 1.3% 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 July and August.

MBA: "Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey"

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2016 07:01:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 11.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 22, 2016.

... The Refinance Index decreased 15 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier to the lowest level since February 2016. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.69 percent from 3.65 percent, with points unchanged at 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

Refinance activity has increased this year since rates have declined.

However it would take another significant move down in mortgage rates to see a large increase in refinance activity.


Mortgage Purchase Index The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

The purchase index is "12 percent higher than the same week one year ago".

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wednesday: FOMC Announcement, Pending Home Sales, Durable Goods

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 06:47:00 PM

Here was my FOMC preview: FOMC Preview: No Rate Hike, Possibly Preparing for September Rate Hike

From Merrill Lynch on the FOMC:

The July meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is unlikely to result in any policy changes by the Fed, in our view. In fact, we do not expect the Fed to give any signals about September or subsequent meetings, maintaining its data dependent approach to a gradual hiking cycle. Markets will likely be looking for any clues of how this week's meeting will set up Fed policy decisions at subsequent meetings this year. Our base case remains that the Fed will next hike in December, but a September move cannot be completely ruled out. We believe the bar to hike then, however, is relatively high: the US activity data would need to remain solid, inflation indicators generally would need to point higher, and global risks would have to settle down to a dull rumble.

Our base case of a more optimistic tone to the July statement, given better data on net, should lead at most to a modest increase in market-implied probabilities of hikes this year. More substantive language changes are unlikely, in our view, but would be more market moving if they occur. Perhaps the biggest risk to market pricing will come not from this week's statement, but from the minutes in three weeks' time. Recall the sharp market reaction when the April minutes revealed significant support on the FOMC for a possible June rate hike. There is the potential for a similarly surprising amount of FOMC interest in a September hike this time around.
Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:30 AM, Durable Goods Orders for May from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 1.3% decrease in durable goods orders.

• At 10:00 AM, Pending Home Sales Index for June. The consensus is for a 1.3% increase in the index.

• At 2:00 PM, FOMC Meeting Announcement. No change in policy is expected at this meeting.

Real Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in May

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 03:25:00 PM

Here is the earlier post on Case-Shiller: Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 5.0% year-over-year in May

The year-over-year increase in prices is mostly moving sideways now around 5%. In May, the index was up 5.0% YoY.

In the earlier post, I graphed nominal house prices, but it is also important to look at prices in real terms (inflation adjusted).  Case-Shiller, CoreLogic and others report nominal house prices.  As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $275,000 today adjusted for inflation (37%).  That is why the second graph below is important - this shows "real" prices (adjusted for inflation).

It has been almost ten years since the bubble peak.  In the Case-Shiller release this morning, the National Index was reported as being 2.8% below the bubble peak.   However, in real terms, the National index is still about 17.1% below the bubble peak.

Nominal House Prices


Nominal House PricesThe first graph shows the monthly Case-Shiller National Index SA, the monthly Case-Shiller Composite 20 SA, and the CoreLogic House Price Indexes (through May) in nominal terms as reported.

In nominal terms, the Case-Shiller National index (SA) is back to November 2005 levels, and the Case-Shiller Composite 20 Index (SA) is back to June 2005 levels, and the CoreLogic index (NSA) is back to June 2005.

Real House Prices

Real House PricesThe second graph shows the same three indexes in real terms (adjusted for inflation using CPI less Shelter). Note: some people use other inflation measures to adjust for real prices.

CPI less Shelter has declined over the last two years pushing up real house prices.

In real terms, the National index is back to January 2004 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to October 2003, and the CoreLogic index back to November 2003.

In real terms, house prices are back to late 2003 levels.

Price-to-Rent

In October 2004, Fed economist John Krainer and researcher Chishen Wei wrote a Fed letter on price to rent ratios: House Prices and Fundamental Value. Kainer and Wei presented a price-to-rent ratio using the OFHEO house price index and the Owners' Equivalent Rent (OER) from the BLS.

Price-to-Rent RatioHere is a similar graph using the Case-Shiller National, Composite 20 and CoreLogic House Price Indexes.

This graph shows the price to rent ratio (January 1998 = 1.0).

On a price-to-rent basis, the Case-Shiller National index is back to July 2003 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to June 2003 levels, and the CoreLogic index is back toMay 2003.

In real terms, and as a price-to-rent ratio, prices are back to late 2003  - and the price-to-rent ratio maybe moving a little more sideways now.

A few Comments on June New Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 11:52:00 AM

The new home sales report for June was strong at 592,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR) - the highest since early 2008 - and combined sales for March, April and May were revised up by 22 thousand SAAR.

Sales were up 25.4% year-over-year (YoY) compared to June 2015. And sales are up 10.1% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2015.

Earlier: New Home Sales increased to 592,000 Annual Rate in June, Highest since 2008.


New Home Sales 2015 2016Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows new home sales for 2015 and 2016 by month (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).  Sales to date are up 10.1% year-over-year, mostly because of the solid growth in Q2.

There will probably be solid year-over-year growth in Q3 this year too.

Overall  I expected lower growth this year, in the 4% to 8% range.  Slower growth seemed likely this year because Houston (and other oil producing areas) will have a problem this year.

And here is another update to the "distressing gap" graph that I first started posting a number of years ago to show the emerging gap caused by distressed sales.  Now I'm looking for the gap to close over the next several years.

Distressing GapThe "distressing gap" graph shows existing home sales (left axis) and new home sales (right axis) through June 2016. This graph starts in 1994, but the relationship had been fairly steady back to the '60s.

Following the housing bubble and bust, the "distressing gap" appeared mostly because of distressed sales.

I expect existing home sales to move more sideways, and I expect this gap to slowly close, mostly from an increase in new home sales.

However, this assumes that the builders will offer some smaller, less expensive homes. If not, then the gap will persist.

Note: Existing home sales are counted when transactions are closed, and new home sales are counted when contracts are signed. So the timing of sales is different.

New Home Sales increased to 592,000 Annual Rate in June, Highest since 2008

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 592 thousand.

The previous three months were revised up by a total of 22 thousand (SAAR).

"Sales of new single-family houses in June 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.5 percent above the revised May rate of 572,000 and is 25.4 percent above the June 2015 estimate of 472,000."
emphasis added
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

Even with the increase in sales since the bottom, new home sales are still fairly low historically.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in June to 4.9 months.

The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.

This is now in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
"The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 244,000. This represents a supply of 4.9 months at the current sales rate."
New Home Sales, InventoryOn inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
"A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted."
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.

The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is still low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is also low.

New Home Sales, NSAThe last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In June 2016 (red column), 54 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 44 thousand homes were sold in June.

The all time high for June was 115 thousand in 2005, and the all time low for May was 28 thousand in June 2010 and June 2011.

This was above expectations of 562,000 sales SAAR in June, and prior months were revised up.   A solid report.  I'll have more later today.

Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 5.0% year-over-year in May

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 09:13:00 AM

S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for May ("May" is a 3 month average of March, April and May prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), I use the SA data for the graphs.

From S&P: Home Price Increases Ease in May According to the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Indices

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.0% annual gain in May, the same as the prior month. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.4% annual increase, down from 4.7% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.2%, down from 5.4% in April.
...
Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 1.2% in May. The 10-City Composite recorded a 0.8% month-over-month increase, while the 20-City Composite posted a 0.9% increase in May. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.2% month-over month increase, the 10-City Composite posted a 0.2% decrease, and the 20-City Composite reported a 0.1% month-over-month decrease. After seasonal adjustment, 12 cities saw prices rise, two cities were unchanged, and six cities experienced negative monthly prices changes.
emphasis added
Case-Shiller House Prices Indices Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted Composite 10, Composite 20 and National indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The Composite 10 index is off 10.9% from the peak, and down 0.2% in May (SA).

The Composite 20 index is off 9.0% from the peak, and down 0.1% (SA) in May.

The National index is off 2.8% from the peak, and up 0.2% (SA) in May.  The National index is up 31.3% from the post-bubble low set in December 2011 (SA).

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices The second graph shows the Year over year change in all three indices.

The Composite 10 SA is up 4.4% compared to May 2015.

The Composite 20 SA is up 5.2% year-over-year..

The National index SA is up 5.0% year-over-year.

Note: According to the data, prices increased in 12 of 20 cities month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

I'll have more later.

Black Knight's First Look at June Mortgage Data

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2016 08:21:00 AM

From Black Knight: Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at June Mortgage Data: Foreclosure Starts Up for Second Consecutive Month; Prepays Rise on Historically Low Rates

• Despite June’s increase, first-time foreclosure starts in Q2 2016 were at their lowest level in over 16 years

• Prepayment speeds (historically a good indicator of refinance activity) jumped to a 12-month high, mirroring an overall rise in refinance activity driven by historically low interest rates

• Early-stage delinquencies saw a seasonal increase in June, while 90-day delinquencies and foreclosure inventories continued to decline
According to Black Knight's First Look report for June, the percent of loans delinquent increased 1.3% in June compared to May, and declined 10.0% year-over-year.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined 2.6% in June and were down 29.4% 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 4.31% in June, up from 4.25% in May.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined in June to 1.10%.

The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is down 237,000 properties year-over-year, and the number of properties in the foreclosure process is down 231,000 properties year-over-year.

Black Knight will release the complete mortgage monitor for June in early August.

Black Knight: Percent Loans Delinquent and in Foreclosure Process
  June
2016
May
2016
June
2015
June
2014
Delinquent4.31%4.25%4.79%5.71%
In Foreclosure1.10%1.13%1.56%2.00%
Number of properties:
Number of properties that are delinquent, but not in foreclosure:2,178,0002,153,0002,415,0002,876,000
Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory:558,000574,000789,0001,006,000
Total Properties2,736,0002,727,0003,204,0003,882,000

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tuesday: New Home Sales, Case-Shiller House Prices

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 08:54:00 PM

Tuesday:
• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for May. Although this is the May report, it is really a 3 month average of March, April and May prices. The consensus is for a 5.6% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for May. The Zillow forecast is for the National Index to increase 5.0% year-over-year in May.

• At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for June from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for an increase in sales to 562 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in June from 551 thousand in May.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for July.

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Continue Sideways Slide Ahead of Fed

Mortgage rates were unchanged again today, making three out of the past 4 days where rates haven't budged and 6 out of the past 7 days where rates moved by 0.01% or less, on average. That's an exceptionally narrow range, and it speaks to indecision in financial markets ahead of this week's major central bank announcements. That's where the Fed and the Bank of Japan give the official word on their monetary policy, which includes setting short term rates and spelling out various stimulus efforts.

The Fed isn't expected to hike rates this week, but chances increase as the year progresses. As such, it wouldn't be a surprise to see this week's announcement telegraph their intentions for the coming announcements. Although the Fed's policy rate does not directly control mortgage rates, there is typically upward pressure on all interest rates if Fed rate hike expectations increase.

In terms of specific levels, the average conventional 30yr fixed quote moved up to 3.5% for top tier scenarios late last week. Quite a few lenders are still quoting 3.375%, while just a few are up to 3.625%. Keep in mind, "top tier" means there are absolutely no "hits" to loan pricing (i.e. 25% equity, 760+ credit score, etc). Most loans in the real world have some hits (or adjustments to the 'perfect' pricing), meaning that a lot of 3.625-3.75% rates are being quoted. We track the top tier rate because that's the easiest way to capture the true day-over-day movement (especially considering the effect of certain adjustments has varied over time, and to some extent, between lenders).
emphasis added
Here is a table from Mortgage News Daily:


Lawler: Table of Distressed Sales and All Cash Sales for Selected Cities in June

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 02:50:00 PM

Economist Tom Lawler sent me the table below of short sales, foreclosures and all cash sales for selected cities in June.

On distressed: Total "distressed" share is down year-over-year in all of these markets.

Short sales and foreclosures are down in all of these areas.

The All Cash Share (last two columns) is mostly declining year-over-year. As investors continue to pull back, the share of all cash buyers continues to decline.

  Short Sales ShareForeclosure Sales Share Total "Distressed" ShareAll Cash Share
June-
2016
June-
2015
June-
2016
June-
2015
June-
2016
June-
2015
June-
2016
June-
2015
Las Vegas4.4%6.7%5.9%7.6%10.3%14.3%27.0%28.4%
Reno**3.0%5.0%2.0%3.0%5.0%8.0%   
Phoenix1.6%2.8%1.9%3.6%3.4%6.4%20.9%23.1%
Sacramento2.8%5.8%2.6%4.6%5.4%10.4%16.1%17.8%
Minneapolis1.2%2.0%3.8%5.7%5.0%7.7%10.9%12.1%
Mid-Atlantic2.7%3.1%8.1%8.7%10.8%11.7%14.4%15.2%
Florida SF2.2%3.5%8.0%16.6%10.2%20.1%27.2%33.3%
Florida C/TH1.4%2.4%7.1%14.8%8.6%17.2%54.5%60.9%
Miami MSA SF3.2%6.0%9.5%17.2%12.7%23.3%28.8%34.8%
Miami MSA C/TH1.8%2.9%10.3%19.3%12.1%22.2%58.8%62.9%
So. California*        5.3%6.9%   
Bay Area CA*        2.2%4.3%   
Chicago (city)        9.8%12.4%   
Spokane        7.6%10.8%   
Rhode Island        9.2%10.4%   
Northeast Florida        15.1%25.4%   
Orlando            27.9%35.8%
Tucson            23.1%26.5%
Toledo            23.2%27.0%
S.C. Wisconsin            14.1%14.3%
Knoxville            18.9%18.9%
Peoria            15.6%16.1%
Georgia***            18.1%20.3%
Omaha            15.1%14.6%
Pensacola            25.3%31.6%
Richmond VA    5.6%7.6%    13.5%13.8%
Memphis    9.0%11.4%       
Springfield IL**    4.7%5.6%       
*share of existing home sales, based on property records
**Single Family Only
***GAMLS

FOMC Preview: No Rate Hike, Possibly Preparing for September Rate Hike

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 12:23:00 PM

The FOMC will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, and no change to policy is expected.

There will no economic projections released at this meeting, and there is no scheduled press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen (in the unlikely event there is a change to policy, Yellen will probably hold a press conference).

So the focus will be on the FOMC statement.

Here is the first paragraph from the April FOMC statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March indicates that labor market conditions have improved further even as growth in economic activity appears to have slowed. Growth in household spending has moderated, although households' real income has risen at a solid rate and consumer sentiment remains high. Since the beginning of the year, the housing sector has improved further but business fixed investment and net exports have been soft. A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and falling prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.
emphasis added
And the first paragraph from the June FOMC statement:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed while growth in economic activity appears to have picked up. Although the unemployment rate has declined, job gains have diminished. Growth in household spending has strengthened. Since the beginning of the year, the housing sector has continued to improve and the drag from net exports appears to have lessened, but business fixed investment has been soft. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation declined; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.
Since the June meeting, the economic data has been mostly positive, and the June employment report showed a gain of 287,000 jobs. The Q2 GDP report will be released on Friday, and is expected to show real GDP growth picked up in the second quarter.

The key for a possible September rate hike is if the first paragraph in the FOMC statement is more positive than in June. If the first sentence is changed to something like "Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that labor market conditions have improved and growth in economic activity appears to have picked up", then the FOMC is probably preparing - if the improved data flow continues - to raise rates in September.

Dallas Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity "Stabilizes" in July

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 10:35:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Stabilizes

Texas factory activity held steady in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in near zero after two months of negative readings, suggesting output stopped falling this month.

Some other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected stabilization, and demand declines abated somewhat. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes posted near-zero readings, up from negative territory in May and June. The new orders index rose six points to –8.0, while the growth rate of orders index rose nine points to –9.7.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were notably less pessimistic. While the general business activity index remained negative for a nineteenth month in a row, it jumped 17 points to –1.3 in July. The company outlook index also remained negative but rose, climbing from –11 to –2.3.

Labor market measures indicated slight employment declines and stable workweek length. The employment index came in at –2.6, up from a post-recession low of –11.5 last month. ...
emphasis added
Still difficult conditions in the Dallas region, but a little better than previous months.  The impact of lower oil prices is still impacting manufacturing.

Black Knight: House Price Index up 1.1% in May, Up 5.4% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 08:01:00 AM

Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.

From Black Knight: Black Knight Home Price Index Report: May 2016 Transactions, U.S. Home Prices Up 1.1 Percent for the Month; Up 5.4 Percent Year-Over-Year

• U.S. home prices were up 1.1% for the month, and 5.4% from a year ago

• At $263K, the U.S. HPI is up nearly 32% from the bottom of the market at the start of 2012 and is now just 1.8% off its June 2006 peak

• 15 of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks:
◦Austin, TX ($303K)
◦Boston, MA ($424K)
◦Charlotte, NC ($209K)
◦Columbus, OH ($183K)
◦Dallas, TX ($234K)
◦Denver, CO ($357K)
◦Houston, TX ($227K)
◦Kansas City, MO ($182K)
◦Nashville, TN ($235K)
◦Pittsburgh, PA ($194K)
◦Portland, OR ($352K)
◦San Antonio, TX ($202K)
◦San Francisco, CA ($771K)
◦San Jose, CA ($920K)
◦Seattle, WA ($405K)
The year-over-year increase in this index has been about the same for the last year.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Night Futures

by Bill McBride on 7/24/2016 07:37:00 PM

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of July 24, 2016

The Future is Still Bright!

Monday:
• At 10:30 AM ET: Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for July.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P and DOW futures are down slightly (fair value).

Oil prices were down over the last week with WTI futures at $44.26 per barrel and Brent at $45.69 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $48, and Brent was at $54 - so prices are down 10% to 15% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.16 per gallon (down over $0.50 per gallon from a year ago).

The Future is still Bright!

by Bill McBride on 7/24/2016 10:12:00 AM

Three and a half years ago I wrote The Future's so Bright .... In that post I outlined why I was becoming more optimistic. It is time for another update!

For new readers: I was very bearish on the economy when I started this blog in 2005 - back then I wrote mostly about housing (see: LA Times article and more here for comments about the blog). I started looking for the sun in early 2009, and recently I've been more optimistic.

Here are some updates to the graphs I posted 3+ years ago.  Several of these graphs have changed direction since that original post.  As example, state and local government employment is now increasing, and household deleveraging is over (as predicted).

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows total and single family housing starts. Even though starts are up about 150% from the bottom, starts are still below the average level of 1.5 million per year from 1959 through 2000.

Demographics and household formation suggests starts will increase to around 1.5 million over the next few years. That means starts will probably increase another 25% or so from the June 2016 level of 1.19 million starts (SAAR).

Residential investment and housing starts are usually the best leading indicator for the economy, so this suggests the economy will continue to grow.

State and Local GovernmentThis graph shows total state and government payroll employment since January 2007. State and local governments lost 129,000 jobs in 2009, 262,000 in 2010, 217,000 in 2011, and 40,000 in 2012.

Since January 2013, state and local employment has increased 259,000.

So, in the aggregate, state and local government layoffs are over - and the economic drag on the economy is over.  However state and local government employment is still 464,000 below the pre-recession peak.

US Federal Government Budget Surplus DeficitAnd here is a graph on the US deficit. This graph, based on the CBO's recent projections, shows the actual (purple) budget deficit each year as a percent of GDP, and an estimate for the next ten years based on estimates from the CBO.

As we've been discussing, the US deficit as a percent of GDP declined significantly over the last few years, and will probably remain under 3% for several years.  

Here are a couple of graph on household debt (and debt service):

Total Household DebtThis graph from the the NY Fed shows aggregate household debt has increased over the last 3 years.

From the NY Fed: Household Debt Steps Up, Delinquencies Drop

Household indebtedness continued to advance during the first three months of 2016 according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,  ...
...
"Delinquency rates and the overall quality of outstanding debt continue to improve," said Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed. "The proportion of overall debt that becomes newly delinquent has been on a steady downward trend and is at its lowest level since our series began in 1999. This improvement is in large part driven by mortgages."
emphasis added
There will be a little more deleveraging ahead for certain households (mostly from foreclosures and distressed sales), but in the aggregate, household deleveraging ended almost 3 years ago.

Financial ObligationsThis graph is from the Fed's Household Debt Service and Financial Obligations Ratios. These ratios show the percent of disposable personal income (DPI) dedicated to debt service (DSR) and financial obligations (FOR) for households.

The overall Debt Service Ratio has been moving sideways and is near the record low.  Note: The financial obligation ratio (FOR) is also near a record low  (not shown)

Also the DSR for mortgages (blue) are near the low for the last 30 years.  This ratio increased rapidly during the housing bubble, and continued to increase until 2007. With falling interest rates, and less mortgage debt (mostly due to foreclosures), the mortgage ratio has declined significantly.

This data suggests household cash flow is in much better shape than several years ago.

AIA Architecture Billing IndexAnd for commercial real estate, here is the AIA Architecture Billings Index. This is usually a leading indicator for commercial real estate, and the readings over the last year suggest more increases in CRE investment at least through mid-2017 (except oil and power with the recent decline in oil prices).

Overall it appears the economy is poised for more growth.

And in the longer term I remain very optimistic.

In 2014, I posted some demographic data for the U.S., see: Census Bureau: Largest 5-year Population Cohort is now the "20 to 24" Age Group.

I pointed out that "even without the financial crisis we would have expected some slowdown in growth this decade (just based on demographics). The good news is that will change soon."

Changes in demographics are an important determinant of economic growth, and although most people focus on the aging of the "baby boomer" generation, the movement of younger cohorts into the prime working age is another key story in coming years. Here is a graph of the prime working age population (this is population, not the labor force) from 1948 through June 2016.

Prime Working Age PopulatonThere was a huge surge in the prime working age population in the '70s, '80s and '90s.  The prime working age population peaked in 2007, and bottomed at the end of 2012, and is almost back to the previous peak (this has nothing to do with the recession - just demographics).

The good news is the prime working age group has started to grow again, and should be growing solidly by 2020 - and this should boost economic activity in the years ahead.

These young workers are well educated and tech savvy.  And they will have babies and buy homes soon.  For more, see from Joe Weisenthal: The Analyst Who Nailed The Housing Crash Is Quietly Revealing The Next Big Thing

And a couple of graphs from The Projected Improvement in Life Expectancy

Instead of look at life expectancy, here is a graph of survivors out of 100,000 born alive, by age for three groups: those born in 1900-1902, born in 1949-1951 (baby boomers), and born in 2010.

SurvivorsThere was a dramatic change between those born in 1900 (blue) and those born mid-century (orange). The risk of infant and early childhood deaths dropped sharply, and the risk of death in the prime working years also declined significantly.

The CDC is projecting further improvement for childhood and prime working age for those born in 2010, but they are also projecting that people will live longer.

Death by AgeThe second graph uses the same data but looks at the number of people who die before a certain age, but after the previous age. As an example, for those born in 1900 (blue), 12,448 of the 100,000 born alive died before age 1, and another 5,748 died between age 1 and age 5.  That is 18.2% of those born in 1900 died before age 5.

In 1950, only 3.5% died before age 5.  In 2010, it was 0.7%.

The peak age for deaths didn't change much for those born in 1900 and 1950 (between 76 and 80, but many more people born in 1950 will make it).

Now the CDC is projection the peak age for deaths - for those born in 2010 - will increase to 86 to 90!

Also the number of deaths for those younger than 20 will be very small (down to mostly accidents, guns, and drugs).  Self-driving cars might reduce the accident components of young deaths.

In 1900, 25,2% died before age 20.  And another 26.8% died before 55.

In 1950, 5.3% died before age 20.  And another 18.7% died before 55.  A dramatic decline in early deaths.

In 2010, 1.5% are projected to die before age 20.  And only 9.7% before 55.  A dramatic decline in prime working age deaths.

An amazing statistic: for those born in 1900, about 13 out of 100,000 made it to 100.  For those born in 1950, 199 are projected to make to 100 - an significant increase.   Now the CDC is projecting that 1,968 out of 100,000 born in 2010 will make it to 100.  Stunning!

Some people look at this data and worry about supporting all the old people.  To me, this is all great news - the vast majority of people can look forward to a long life - with fewer people dying in childhood or during their prime working years.  Awesome!

Three and a half years ago I said that looking forward I was the most optimistic since the '90s. And things are only getting better. The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Yes, the song was about nuclear holocaust ... but it was originally intended the way I'm using it.