Saturday, January 16, 2021

January 16 COVID-19 Test Results; Over 50,000 Deaths in January Already

by Calculated Risk on 1/16/2021 07:11:00 PM

Note: It is possible the 7-day average cases is nearing a peak. I'm looking forward to not posting this data in a few months.

The US is now averaging close to 2 million tests per day. Based on the experience of other countries, for adequate test-and-trace (and isolation) to reduce infections, the percent positive needs to be under 5% (probably close to 1%), so the US has far too many daily cases - and percent positive - to do effective test-and-trace.

There were 2,015,414 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

There were 215,449 positive tests.

Over 50,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.

COVID-19 Tests per Day and Percent PositiveClick on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 10.7% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by dividing positive results by total tests (including pending).

And check out COVID Act Now to see how each state is doing. (updated link to new site)

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayThe second graph shows the 7 day average of positive tests reported and daily hospitalizations.

It is possible cases and hospitalizations have peaked, but are still at a very high level.   

Schedule for Week of January 17, 2021

by Calculated Risk on 1/16/2021 08:11:00 AM

The key reports this week are December housing starts and existing home sales.

For manufacturing, the January Philly Fed manufacturing survey will be released.

----- Monday, Jan 18th -----

All US markets will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

----- Tuesday, Jan 19th -----

No major economic releases scheduled.

----- Wednesday, Jan 20th -----

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

10:00 AM: The January NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  86, unchanged from 86 in December. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

During the day: The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for December (a leading indicator for commercial real estate).

----- Thursday, Jan 21st -----

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for an increase to 985 thousand from 965 thousand last week.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts8:30 AM: Housing Starts for December.

This graph shows single and total housing starts since 1968.

The consensus is for 1.560 million SAAR, up from 1.547 million SAAR.

8:30 AM: the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for January. The consensus is for a reading of 12.3, up from 9.1.

----- Friday, Jan 22nd -----

Existing Home Sales10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for December from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for 6.55 million SAAR, down from 6.69 million.

The graph shows existing home sales from 1994 through the report last month.

Friday, January 15, 2021

January 15 COVID-19 Test Results

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 07:30:00 PM

Note: It is possible the 7-day average cases is nearing a peak. I'm looking forward to not posting this data in a few months.

The US is now averaging close to 2 million tests per day. Based on the experience of other countries, for adequate test-and-trace (and isolation) to reduce infections, the percent positive needs to be under 5% (probably close to 1%), so the US has far too many daily cases - and percent positive - to do effective test-and-trace.

There were 2,279,606 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

There were 243,996 positive tests.

Over 46,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.

COVID-19 Tests per Day and Percent PositiveClick on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 10.7% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by dividing positive results by total tests (including pending).

And check out COVID Act Now to see how each state is doing. (updated link to new site)

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayThe second graph shows the 7 day average of positive tests reported and daily hospitalizations.

It is possible cases and hospitalizations have peaked, but are still at a very high level.

Phoenix Real Estate in December: Sales Up 27.4% YoY, Active Inventory Down 52% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 04:33:00 PM

The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) reports ("Stats Report"):

1) Overall sales were at 9,666 in December, up from 8,886 in November, and up from 7,585 in December 2019. Sales were down 8.8% from November 2020 (previous month), and up 27.4% from December 2019.

2) Active inventory was at 5,969, down from 12,425 in November 2019. That is down 52% year-over-year.

3) Months of supply decreased to 1.01 in December from 1.40 in November. This is very low.

Sales are reported at the close of escrow, so these sales were mostly signed in October and November.

Black Knight: Number of Homeowners in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans Decreased

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 02:20:00 PM

Note: Both Black Knight and the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) are putting out weekly estimates of mortgages in forbearance.

This data is as of January 5th.

From Black Knight: Slow Improvement in Forbearance Numbers Continues

The number of mortgages in active forbearance declined slightly once again this week, continuing the trend of very slow improvement seen in recent weeks. Total active forbearance plans are now down 1.5% from last month. This gradual rate of improvement sets the stage for a large number of plans to still be in active status when the first wave of forbearances begins to expire at the end of March.
...
New plans edged higher thanks to an increase in restart activity, but overall, these numbers remain below pre-holiday levels. Forbearance starts were up 10,000 from last week but remain below the weekly average heading into the holidays by 22,000. With some 370,000 active plans up for review for extension/removal through the end of January, the potential for additional removals remains, although it’s expected to be more moderate than what had been seen early in the recovery.
...
Black Knight ForbearanceClick on graph for larger image.

Overall, as of Jan. 12, 5.1% of all mortgages are in forbearance, which equates to 2.73 million. Altogether, they represent $545 billion in unpaid principal, a staggering number for the U.S. housing market. Of the homeowners in active forbearance, about 15% have remained current on their mortgage payments, and 83% have had their plans extended at some point since the pandemic began to impact the American economy last March.
emphasis added

Q4 GDP Forecasts

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 12:36:00 PM

From Merrrill Lynch:

We revise up 1Q 2021 GDP growth to 4.0% qoq saar from 1.0%, but take down 2Q to 5.0% from 7.0%, reflecting the earlier passage of stimulus in December. This leaves annual 2021 growth at 5.0% from 4.6% previously, with risks tilted to the upside if additional stimulus makes it through Washington in coming months. We continue to track 5.0% qoq saar for 4Q 2020 GDP. [Jan 15 estimate] emphasis added
From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report
The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 2.5% for 2020:Q4 and 6.2% for 2021:Q1. [Jan 15 estimate]
And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2020 is 7.4 percent on January 15, down from 8.7 percent on January 8. [Jan 15 estimate]

CAR on California December Housing: Sales up 28% YoY, Active Listings down 47% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 11:41:00 AM

The CAR reported: California housing market ends year on high note as sales continue strong in December and median price reaches another record high, C.A.R. reports

Despite a global pandemic that lingered most of the year, two lockdowns and a struggling economy, California’s housing market closed out 2020 on a high note, recording solid sales and a fifth record-high median price in December, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 509,750 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2020 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

December home sales ticked up 0.2 percent from 508,820 in November and were up 28 percent from a year ago, when 398,370 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The year-over-year, double-digit sales gain was the fifth consecutive and the largest yearly gain since May 2009. For the year as a whole, annual home sales rose to a preliminary 411,870 closed escrow sales in California, up 3.5 percent from 2019’s pace of 397,960.
...
“Home prices, which usually peak during the summer, were unseasonably strong in December,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “The imbalance between supply and demand continues to fuel home price gains as would-be home sellers remain reluctant to list their homes during the pandemic, contributing to a more-than-40-percent year-over-year decline in active listings for the seventh straight month.”
...
Active listings fell 47.1 percent from last year and continued to drop more than 40 percent on a year-over-year basis for the seventh straight month. On a month-to-month basis, for-sale properties dropped 18.6 percent in December, higher than the 5-year average of -14.0 percent, observed between 2015 and 2019.
emphasis added
CR Note: Existing home sales are reported when the transaction closes, so this was mostly for contracts signed in October and November.

Industrial Production Increased 1.6 Percent in December; 3.3% Below Pre-Crisis Level

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 09:22:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production advanced 1.6 percent in December, with gains of 0.9 percent for manufacturing, 1.6 percent for mining, and 6.2 percent for utilities. The increase for utilities resulted from a rebound in demand for heating after unseasonably warm weather in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production rose at an annual rate of 8.4 percent. At 105.7 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in December was 3.6 percent lower than it was a year earlier and 3.3 percent below its pre-pandemic February reading. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 1.1 percentage points in December to 74.5 percent, a rate that is 5.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up from the record low set in April, but still below the level in February 2020.

Capacity utilization at 74.5% is 5.3% below the average from 1972 to 2019.

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

Industrial ProductionThe second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

Industrial production increased in December to  105.7. This is 3.3% below the February 2020 level.

The change in industrial production was above consensus expectations, and industrial production in October and November were revised up slightly.

Retail Sales decreased 0.7% in December

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2021 08:38:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.7 percent from November to December (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 2.9 percent from December 2019.

From the Census Bureau report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $540.9 billion, a decrease of 0.7 percent from the previous month, but 2.9 percent above December 2019. Total sales for the 12 months of 2020 were up 0.6 percent from 2019. ... The October 2020 to November 2020 percent change was revised from down 1.1 percent to down 1.4 percent.
emphasis added
Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image.

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

Retail sales ex-gasoline were down 1.2% in December.


The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993.

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, increased by 4.2% on a YoY basis.

The decrease in December was slightly above expectations, however sales in October and November were revised down.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Friday: Retail Sales, Industrial Production, NY Fed Mfg, PPI

by Calculated Risk on 1/14/2021 09:17:00 PM

Friday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Retail sales for December is scheduled to be released.  The consensus is for a 0.2% decrease in retail sales.

• Also at 8:30 AM, The Producer Price Index for December from the BLS. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in PPI, and a 0.2% increase in core PPI.

• Also at 8:30 AM, The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for January. The consensus is for a reading of 5.5, up from 4.9.

• At 9:15 AM, The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 73.5%.

• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (Preliminary for January).