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National Poverty Rate at 15.1% for 2010

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

The hot topic in the economy was the national poverty rate, which hit 15.1% for 2010. This is the highest rate seen in history according to the Census Bureau.

Last year the rate was up 14.3% over 2009 and marked the third consecutive annual increase. In 2010, there were 46.2 million Americans living in poverty, which is up from 43.6 million in 20009, which marked the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number ever seen of American living in poverty since the beginning of the Census Bureau’s reports in 1959.

The Bureau also released information on the real median household income in the United States in 2010, which was $49,445, a 2.3% fall from the figure seen in 2009.  Since 2007, the year prior to the recent recession, real median household income has fallen 6.4% and is 7.1% below the median household income peak that was seen in 1999, before the 2001 recession, the Bureau stated. This is the very first time since the Great Depression that the median household income after adjusting for inflation did not raise for an extended period.

Lawrence Katz, Harvard economics professor, stated, “This is truly a lost decade,” and went on to say, “We think of America as a place where every generation is doing better, but we’re looking at a period when the median family is in worse shape than it was in the late 1990s.”

In addition, the figure of Americans that do not have health insurance increased from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, with the overall percentage still at 16.3%, according to the Census report.

Retail sales hit $389.5 billion in August, which is the same as was seen in July and is 7.2% higher than what was seen in August of 2010 as reported by estimates by the Census Bureau.

Total sales for the period of June through August 2011 were up 7.9% from the same time a year ago. Retail trade sales were up 0.1% from July 2011 and 7.5% higher than last year. Gasoline station sales were up 20.8% t from August 2010 and non-store retailer’s sales were up 10.4% over last year.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.4% in the month of August, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted rose in the “all items” index was broad-based, with continuing raise in the indexes for gasoline, food, shelter and apparel. The gasoline index increased for the 12th time in the last 14 months which led to a 1.2% rise in the energy index, while the food index increased 0.5%, which is the largest increase seen since the month of March.

The Bureau reported the Producer Price Index for finished goods was unchanged in the month of August. A 1.1% rise in finished consumer foods prices and a 0.1% advance in the index for finished goods less foods and energy offset a 1.0% fall in prices for finished energy goods.

The Producer Price Index for intermediate materials, supplies, and components declined 0.5% in the month of August, the first decrease since the month of July 2010. The Producer Price Index for crude materials for further processing rose 0.2% in the month of August.

First unemployment claims was at 428,000 for the week that ended on Sept 10, a rise of 11,000 from the prior week’s revised figure of 417,000, according to the Employment and Training Administration. The four-week moving average was 419,500, a rise of 4,000 from the previous week’s average of 415,500.

Insured unemployed workers during the week that ended on September 3 were 3,726,000, a decline of 12,000 from the prior week’s level of 3,738,000. The four-week moving average was 3,741,000, a rise of 1,250 from the prior week’s average of 3,739,750.

Upcoming financial news
August construction starts
Building permit totals
Existing homes sales for august
Initial jobless claims data for last week
Leading economic indicators report for August

Retail Sales Decreased

September 9, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

As reported by the ISCS-Goldman Sachs Index, retail sales dropped for the week that ended on July 30. On a year over year basis, retailers enjoyed an increase in sales of 4 percent.

The monthly composite index of manufacturing activity report from the Institute for Supply Management showed a fall to 50.9 in the month of July after seeing a 55.3 reading in the month of June. Any reading that is above 50 shows expansion. This was the 24th month in a row of expansion.

The monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity as reported by the Institute for Supply Management decreased to 52.7 in the month of July from the figure of 53.3 seen in the month of June. This was the 19th month in a row for seeing expansion in the services sector.

An increase in total construction rose 0.2 percent to bring the amount to $772.3 billion in the month of June, after seeing a gain of 0.3 percent in the month of May. Economists believed there would an increase of 0.1 percent in the month of June.

Factory orders dropped 0.8 percent in the month June to a seasonally adjusted $440.7 billion, after seeing a 0.6 percent increase in the month of May. Not including the volatile transportation sector, orders increased 0.1 percent in the month of June.

The seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications according to the Mortgage Bankers Association increased 7.1 percent for the week that ended on July 29, refinancing applications rose 7.8 percent, and purchase volume increased 5.1 percent.

First claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 1,000 to 400,000 for the week that ended on July 30, continuing claims for the week that ended on July 23 increased by 10,000 to 3.7 million. The monthly unemployment rate decreased to 9.1 percent in the month of July from the figure of 9.2 percent in the month of June.

Forward Look at the Economic Calendar
August 10 – wholesale trade on August 10
August 11 – international trade
August 12 – retail sales

Ups and Downs on the Dow

September 2, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

The markets are still swinging in all directions, which put investors wondering if this volatility is going to be normal for the next few weeks on Wall Street. During the last week, the Dow had wild ups and downs – On Monday it dropped 634 points and on Wednesday it fell 519 points – Tuesday it went the other way up 429 points the same on Thursday with a rise of 423 points. At the end of Friday, the stocks had seen a gain and were holding on.

These swings are making investors quite leery, with the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Market Volatility Index (VIX) also showing irregular shifts throughout the week. At the close on Monday, the VIX saw a two-year high of 48, however, on Tuesday it fell 27 percent, then Wednesday it made a come back to 32.99. Fear is at the top of the list when it comes to market today.

Adam Sussman, director of research at financial data firm Tabb Group, told the Los Angeles Times stated, “People are afraid of things that could happen rather than things that have already occurred”.

Productivity in the labor sector for the second quarter showed a slightly different story as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Bureau, reported that non-farm business sector labor productivity fell at a 0.3% annual rate during the second quarter, while output increased 1.8% and hours worked increased 2.0%.

If you look at the long term, productivity is on the rise. For the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, output rose 2.5% and hours increased 1.6%, providing an increase in productivity of 0.8%.

Manufacturing was hit hard, with the sector showing a productivity decrease of 2.0% during the second quarter of 2011, while output increased 0.6% and hours rose 2.6%. Durable goods manufacturing saw productivity drop 3.5%. During the second quarter, this sector saw a 5.1% rise in hours outpace a 1.4% rise in output. Nondurable goods manufacturing productivity rose 1.2% while hours fell quicker than output.

Sales for merchant wholesalers in the month of June, not including branches and sales offices, rose 0.6% from May and 15.4% from June of 2010 hitting $395.8 billion as reported by the Census Bureau. Prominent performances were durable goods, up 1.6% and motor vehicles up 8.7%.

Wholesale inventories were also up 0.6% from what was seen in the month of May, putting the months’ total value at $459.7 billion. June’s inventories were up 15.8% from what was seen in the month of June 2010. Durable goods and motor vehicles were the prominent sectors, with inventories for both durable goods up 1.3 % and motor vehicles up 4.3%.

Robert Brusca, president of Fact & Opinion Economics, during a public statement explained, “Inventories are likely desired at a much lower level so they’re probably excessive given new expected future economic growth,” and went on to say, “That’s one of the reason we’re seeing the manufacturing industry wind down.”

As reported by the Employment and Training Administration, first claims for unemployment benefits for the week that ended on August 6 fell to 395,000, which is a decrease of 7,000 from the prior week’s figure of 402,000. The four-week moving average was 405,000, a fall of 3,250 from the prior week’s average of 408,250.

The total number of insured unemployed workers during the week that ended on July 30 was 3,688,000, which is a decrease of 60,000 from the prior week’s figure of 3,748,000. The four-week moving average was 3,718,750, a fall of 15,250 from the prior week’s average of 3,734,000.

Upcoming Economic Reports
Housing construction starts
Housing construction permits
Export and import prices for July
Industrial production and capacity utilization data
July’s producer price index
The consumer price index for July
First unemployment claims for the week
Existing home sales totals for July
Leading economic indicators for July

Volatile Market

August 26, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

We saw another week of volatile trading due to a combination of the United States debate being a bit unresolved, foreign debt crisis, anxious investors with losses in the market, and not great performances by tech industries like IBM and Hewlett Packard.

Todd Colvin, vice president at MF Global, explained to the Wall Street Journal, “Investor angst remains very high,” and went on to say, “Good volume associated with a down move typically isn’t a fluke. We’re probably in store for lower prices from here.”

Real estate was a in the news with construction starts for new homes and existing home sales that showed a decrease in the month of July.

As reported by the National Association of REALTORS, existing town homes, co-ops, condos, and single-family home sales dropped 3.5% to an annual rate of 4.67 million in the month of July from seeing a rate of 4.84 million in the month of June. The figures seen last month were 21% higher than what was seen in July of 2010 at 2.86 million sales, which was quite a bit lower after the homebuyer tax credit expired.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist stated, “Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers, ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers,” and went on to say, “Those potential buyers represent the difference between an uneven recovery and a much more robust housing market that could stimulate additional economic activity and create jobs.”

When it came to prices, the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $174,000 in the month of July, dropping 4.4% from what was seen in the month of July 2010. Distressed homes, like short sales and foreclosures were 29% of the sales seen in the month of July, whereas in June, it was 30% and in July of 2010, it was 32%.

The Census Bureau reported building permits for privately owned housing units issued in the month of July dropped to an annual rate of 597,000. This figure was 3.2% below what was seen in June at 617,000, but 3.8% higher than July 2010′s figure of 575,000. Permits for single-family in the month of July were at a rate of 404,000, was a bit higher, 0.5%, above the June figure of 402,000.

Privately owned housing construction starts for the month of July decreased to an annual rate of 604,000, which was 15% lower than June’s estimate of 613,000, however it is 9.8% higher than the July 2010 rate of 550,000. Construction starts for single-family homes in the month of July were at a rate of 425,000, which is 4.9% lower than June’s figure of 447,000.

New homes completions increased. Construction completions of privately owned housing in the month of July hit an annual rate of 636,000, which is 11.8% higher than the June estimate of 569,000, and 9.5% higher than the July 2010 rate of 581,000. Completions of single-family housing units in the month of July were at a rate of 470,000, which is 6.1% higher than the June rate of 443,000.

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.5% in the month of July. Over the last 12 months, prices for the “all-items” index rose 3.6% before seasonal adjustment.

The gasoline index rose in July, which accounted for around half of July’s all-items increase. Groceries saw an overall increase with fruit and dairy prices seeing the most gains.

The index for all items except food and energy rose as well, by 0.2%. The gain was attributed to the shelter index, which gained in July, and the apparel index, which increased as well.

No change was seen in new vehicles or in household furnishings and operations while recreation dropped a tad.

The Census Bureau reported the Producer Price Index for finished goods increased 0.2% in the month of July after seeing a 0.4% drop in the month of June and a 0.2% increase in the month of May. Prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods inched up 0.2% in the month of July, and the crude goods index dropped 1.2%.

The Employment and Training administration reported first unemployment benefit claims for the week that ended on August 13 reached 408,000, a rise of 9,000 from the prior week’s figure of 399,000. The four-week moving average was 402,500, a drop of 3,500 from the prior week’s average of 406,000.

The figure for insured unemployed workers during the week that ended on August 6 was 3,702,000, a rise of 7,000 from the prior week’s level of 3,695,000. The four-week moving average was 3,716,000, a drop of 4,500 from the prior week’s average of 3,720,500.

Looking Forward
New home sales totals
July’s durable goods orders
First jobless claims
Second quarter’s gross domestic product
Consumer sentiment figures for August

Change is still the top trend in the real estate industry

The 2nd quarter of 2011 still shows the real estate market is up and down which means that change is still occurring and nothing is impossible.

When it comes to real estate today, you will hear different stories according to the person talking and where your home is located. The bottom line is that homebuyers are few and far between with the main reason being the falling prices.

Yes, lower prices encourage those looking for a great deal, but it can cause those looking for a home to back off. Who wants to buy a home to have the price drop lower than what they paid?

The good news is that in major cities home prices were back to the levels seen in the summer of 2003. Home prices may be on the rise however, the housing market is still the weakest link in the United States economy.

Home prices have not fully recovered and will not until the number of foreclosures are reduced, companies being hiring in larger numbers, banks have some slack in lending rules, and more families feel comfortable about buying a home.

Barry Newman, a HouseHunt agent working for @properties in Deerfield, Illinois stated, “Prices are going down, and they have to go down,” and went on to say, “I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom, and I think there are a lot of people holding back because of all the foreclosures on the market.”

Other agent across the US that was polled by HouseHunt.com stated the 2nd 2quarter of 2011 was about the same as the 1st quarter with numbers steady but a bit from prosperous times.

Joyce Pettit of Keller Williams Realty in Boiling Springs, South Carolina stated, “It’s slower this year than last year for me, and if I’m judging from the previous few quarters, people are still looking and still buying, but, overall, they’re a lot more particular,” and went on to say, “I’m hoping that prices have pretty much stabilized here. I don’t think they can fall a whole lot more.”

Sixty four of those that responded to the poll said that prices were down from the first quarter at 56%, but went on to say that 19% said that appreciation is up 0 to 5% when in the 1st quarter the figure was 21%. Seven percent of respondents said prices were up around 5 to 10 percent when compared to the 1st quarter at 9%. Five percent said prices were up 5% when compared to the 6% seen in the 1st quarter.

HouseHunt agent Kristen Malcolm of Coldwell Banker in Cherry Hills Village stated, “Houses are moving, inventory has dropped because so many houses have gone under contract and sold, and in Cherry Hills there have been quite a few instances where people have gotten full asking price and multiple offers,” and went on to say, “There’s so much demand; so much is going under contract and selling. There are lots of buyers.”

There are still more home sellers being seen than buyers with 52% saying there are more in sellers in their communities.

When it comes to inventory, 82% of respondents stated that there is a good supply only down a bit from the 1st, which was 87%. Asking prices are better with more home sellers receiving around 95% of their target price.

Clyde Thomas, an agent with Coldwell Banker stated, “We lost more than 4,000 homes because of flooding. It’s not a good situation right now, and there’s a real fight when it comes to homes coming up on the market.”

“There are far more sellers than buyers,” Thomas said. “It’s been pretty hard.”

In May, the national median price for existing homes was $166,500, which was close to 5% below the comparable price seen in May 2010, as reported by the National Association of Realtors. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.5%, which is a bit above the four-decade low of 4.17% seen in November.

Mike Bearden, president and CEO of HouseHunt Inc. stated, “I don’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Prices are still declining in most areas despite incredibly low prices and interest rates. Many sales these days are all cash investor sales. Banks must start lending money to more prospective home purchasers for housing prices to stabilize and begin to increase. The banks are waiting for a better economy and stronger employment, but those cannot be achieved without housing participating in the recovery. We will see how the rest of 2011 plays out; then we may have a clearer picture as to when housing will recover.”

Other important results from the 2nd quarter 2011 survey by HouseHunt.com

84% average days on the market, was over 60 days and is closer to 4 months.
66% most customers were repeat buyers or investors, which is up from what was seen in the 1st quarter of 58%.
65% stated they are seeing more multiple offers on their listings.

Drop in Existing Home Sales

June saw a drop in existing home sales but an increase in construction and new home permits. Existing home sales, which include town homes, condos, and single-family homes, decreased 0.8% in the month of June to an annual rate of 4.77 million. In May, the figure was 4.81 million. This figure was 8.8% lower than the 5.23 million-unit level seen in June of 2010 as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

The National Association of Realtors explained that this low figure was due to cancellations of contracts. In addition, the National Association of Realtors the Midwestern and southern US saw gains in sales however, this activity was offset by the drops seen in the western and western US. Single-family home sales stayed the same while condos dropped a bit. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist stated that overall, any recovery in the market has stayed uneven.
 
“Home sales had been trending up without a tax stimulus, but a variety of issues are weighing on the market, including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month,” he explained. “The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear, but with problems including tight credit and low appraisals, 16 percent of NAR members report a sales contract was cancelled in June, up from 4 percent in May, which stands out in contrast with the pattern over the past year.”
 
Existing home sales did not perform well; there is still some optimism for June’s market. Building permits that were issued for private homes for the month of June increased to an annual rate of 624,000, which is a 2.5% rise over the figure seen in the month of May at 609,000 as reported by the Census Bureau. Building permits for single-family homes saw a 0.2% gain at 407,000 over May’s figure of 406,000. Permits for all homes in the month of June were 6.7% over the estimated figure of June 2010 at 585,000.

Construction of private housing starts for the month of June were at 629,000 which is an increase of 14.6 over what was seen in May at 549,000 and 16.7% above the figure seen a year ago of 539,000. Construction of single-family home starts for June rose to 453,000, which is 9.4% higher than the figure seen in May at 414,000.
 
Building permits may have seen a rise, but completion in the construction market was down in June which was 535,000 being 1.7% below the estimate in May of 544,000 and 39.3% below a year ago at 881,000. Single-family home construction completion for the month of June was at 436,000, which is the same as May’s rate of 436,000.
 
First claims for unemployment benefits were up for the week that ended on July 16, after seeing a drop the prior week, as reported by the Employment and Training Administration. Claims for the week rose to 418,000, a rise of 10,000 from the prior week’s figure of 408,000. The four-week moving average was at 421,250, a drop of 2,750 from the prior week’s average of 424,000.  

The week that ended on July 9 saw a total number of insured unemployed workers at 3,698,000, as published by the Employment and Training Administration reported, which is a drop of 50,000 from the prior week’s level of 3,748,000. The four-week moving average was 3,720,500, a drop of 4,000 from the prior week’s average of 3,724,500.

Even though the recovery in the housing market is uneven, consumer sentiment rose in the month of June but only very small. The Leading Economic Index for the month of June rose 0.3% to 115.3, after seeing a 0.8% rise in the month of May, and a 0.3% drop in the month of April, as reported by the Conference Board reported last week.
 
Looking forward into the coming week reports
New home sales for June reported by the Census Bureau
Consumer confidence data for July reported by the Conference Board
First unemployment claims for the last week reported by the Employment and Training Administration
Q2 gross domestic product information reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis consumer sentiment data for the month of July reported by the University of Michigan.

Weekly Economic Summary – June 13 – June 17, 2011

June 24, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

Greece is still looking for someway to meet near term financing needs making the economy quite volatile has brought some resistance to safety buying of the United States dollar denominated securities such as mortgage and treasuries backed securities, which is used to base home loan rates. This did help the home loan rates and the bonds over the last week, a good sign, due to the fact that inflation was rising which would have caused home loan rates and bonds to become worse on inflation news.

What you must remember is that inflation erodes the value of the fixed return that is provided by a bond, thus making home loan rates increase. Last week, the Producer Price Index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level and the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation at the consumer level were reported to be at higher levels. The core Consumer Price Index rose by 0.3 percent which is the highest monthly increase seen in the past three years. The Fed still claims that inflation is transitory which means it is only temporary, however, with more signs of inflation in the next few weeks or months may stop home loan rates and bonds from improving.

First Drop in US retail sales in almost a year

June 17, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

Retail sales in May dropped for the first time in eleven months. The estimates out for May’s retail sales dropped to $387.1 billion, which is a 0.2% decrease from April, according to the latest figures reported by the Census Bureau last week.

Even though the figures are down, it is still up from what was seen last year showing 7.7% higher than May of 2010.  Total sales for the month of March through May were up 7.5% from the same time last year.

Car sales were the main reason for the drop, which fell 2.9%. Not counting car sales, core retail sales rose 3%. Gasoline stations were up 3% also.

David Semmens, Standard Chartered’s U.S. economist stated, “The better-than-expected core retail sales are the key data release this morning,” and went on to say, “It indicates that the U.S. consumer has the potential to recover from the gasoline-related hit.”
 
the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in the month of May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published last week. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 3.6% before seasonal adjustment.
 
The index for all items not counting food and energy rose 0.3% in the month of May, which is the largest increase seen since July of 2008. Apparel, shelter, new vehicles, and recreation were major contributors to the increase, gaining more in May than in the month of April.
 
Food prices were up for May; with the food at home index increasing 0.5% due to the fact that four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased, with the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs rose the most.
 
Retail sales at the gas stations rose, however, the gasoline index feel for the first time since June of last year. As reported by the Bureau, the overall energy index fell for the month.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) showed about the same performance for the month of May, with the PPI for finished goods increasing 0.2% for the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics explained last week. Even though the figures were up, May’s PPI indicated a slowing in advances. May’s 0.2% gain came after increases of 0.8% in the month of April and 0.7% in the month of March.
 
In housing, construction permits issued for private housing in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 612,000, as reported by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing last week. This was an 8.7% increased over April’s revised rate of 563,000 and was 5.2% above the May 2010 estimate of 582,000. Permits for single-family home construction issued in the month of May were at a rate of 405,000, which is a 2.5% above the revised April figure of 395,000.
 
Construction starts on private homes in the month of May has a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000, which was a 3.5% over April’s revised estimate of 541,000, but was still 3.4% below the May 2010 rate of 580,000. Starts on single-family homes in the month of May were at a rate of 419,000, 3.7% over April’s revised figure of 404,000.
 
Employment news saw initial claims for unemployment insurance drop to 414,000, a fall of 16,000 from the prior week’s figure of 430,000, as reported by the Employment and Training Administration. The four-week moving average was 424,750, being unchanged from the prior week’s average of 424,750.
 
Total insured unemployment during the week that ended on June 4 fell to 3,675,000, which is a decrease of 21,000 from the prior week’s level of 3,696,000. The four-week moving average was 3,709,000, a drop of 15,250 from the prior week’s revised average of 3,724,250.

Retail Sales Increased in March

June 9, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

We saw a fall in the trade deficit of 2.6 percent to land at $45.76 billion in the month of February from $46.97 billion seen in the month of January. Economists had thought the trade deficit would be at of billion. Exports decreased 1.4 percent to $165.12 billion, while imports fell 1.7 percent to $210.88 billion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week that ended on April 8 decreased 6.7 percent, while refinancing applications fell 7.7 percent along with purchase volume that decreased 4.7 percent.

Retail sales increased 0.4 percent to $396.3 billion in the month of March after seeing 1.1 percent increase in the month of February. This made it the ninth straight month in a row for gains, which put the year over year basis that retailers saw at a rise of 7.1 percent.

Total business inventories increased 0.5 percent in the month of February to $1.46 trillion, which is up 9.1 percent from what we saw a year ago. Total business sales rose 0.2 percent to $1.17 trillion in the month of February, which is also up 10.9 percent from what we saw a year ago.

The producer price index that tracks wholesale price inflation increased 0.7 percent in the month of March after a 1.6 percent increase in the month of February. Core prices not including food and fuel increased 0.3 percent in the month of March.

Industrial production at our nation’s factories, mines, and utilities increased 0.8 percent in the month of March, after seeing a 0.1 percent rise in the month of February. Comparing this figure to a year ago, production is up 5.9 percent. Capacity utilization was at 77.4 percent in the month of March.

Consumer prices increased a seasonally adjusted of 0.5 percent in the month of March, after seeing a 0.5 percent increase in the month of February. Seasonally adjusted consumer prices are up 2.7 percent, for the year.

First unemployment benefit claims increased by 27,000 to 412,000 for the week that ended on April 9, while continuing claims for the week that ended on April 2 decreased by 58,000 to 3.68 million, which is the lowest seen since September of 2008.
Economic Reports Upcoming
April 18 – housing market index
April 19 – housing starts
April 20 – existing home sales

Retail Sales Increased

May 12, 2011 by  
Filed under National News

As reported by the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index retail sales increased the week that ended on April 2 making the sales retailers saw increased to 2.8 percent on a year over year basis.

The monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity decreased to 57.3 in the month of March from seeing 59.7 in the month of February according to the Institute for Supply Management. Any reading that is above 50 shows expansion. This made expansion in the services sector for 15 months in a row.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week that ended on April 1 decreased 2 percent while refinancing applications fell 6.2 percent, and purchase volume increased 6.7 percent.

The Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit debt increased in the month of February by $7.62 billion creating a total credit level of $2.42 trillion. The numbers for the month of January were revised from $5.01 billion to an increase of $4.45 billion. Revolving debt, such as credit cards decreased by $2.71 billion while non-revolving debt such as loans for cars increased by $10.3 billion.

Inventory by wholesalers rose 1 percent to $437.99 billion in the month of February. This was after a 1.1 percent increase in the month of January. Sales on the other hand decreased 0.8 percent in the month February. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 13.7 percent over what was seen in February of 2010.

First claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 10,000 to 382,000 for the week that ended on April 2, while continuing claims for the week that ended on March 26 decreased by 9,000 to 3.7 million.

Economic calendar reports upcoming
April 12 – international trade
April 13- retail sales
April 15 – industrial production

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