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July 10 COVID-19 Test Results; Record Tests, Record Positive Tests

2 days ago

The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.There were 825,635 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 66,645 positive tests. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 8.0% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state, check out testandtrace.com.

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Q2 GDP Forecasts: Probably Around 36% Annual Rate Decline

2 days ago

Important: GDP is reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). So a 36% Q2 decline is around 10% decline from Q1 (SA).Note: I’m just trying to make it clear the economy didn’t decline by one-third in Q2.  Previously I just divided by 4 (an approximation) to show the quarter to quarter decline.  The actually formula is (1-.36) ^ .25 – 1 = -0.095 (a 9.5% decline from Q1)From Merrill Lynch: 2Q GDP tracking remains at -36.0% qoq saar. [July 10 estimate]emphasis addedFrom Goldman Sachs: We left our Q2 GDP forecast unchanged at -33% (qoq ar). We expect -29% in the initial vintage of the report, reflecting incomplete source data and non-response bias [July 9 estimate] From the NY Fed Nowcasting ReportThe New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at -15.3% for 2020:Q2 and 10.1% for 2020:Q3.

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Black Knight: Number of Homeowners in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans Fall by 435K

2 days ago

Note: Both Black Knight and the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) are putting out weekly estimates of mortgages in forbearance.From Black Knight: Forbearances See Largest Weekly Drop YetThe latest data from the McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that, following on last week’s decline, the number of active forbearance plans fell another 435,000 week-over-week – marking the largest drop yet. This brings the total number of active forbearances to its lowest point since April 28.As of July 7, 4.14 million homeowners were in active forbearance, representing 7.8% of all active mortgages, down from 8.6% the week prior. Together, they represent just under $900 billion in unpaid principal.The overall decline in active forbearance plans is likely driven at least in part by the fact that more

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July 9 COVID-19 Test Results

3 days ago

Note: There was an error in initial release. Now corrected and this post updated.The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day.There were 637,300 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 58,836 positive tests. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 9.2% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state,

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DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven decreased 26% year-over-year in May

3 days ago

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:Travel on all roads and streets changed by -25.5% (-72.9 billion vehicle miles) for May 2020 as compared with May 2019. Travel for the month is estimated to be 213.2 billion vehicle miles.The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for May 2020 is 199.8 billion miles, a -26.1% (-70.6 billion vehicle miles) decline from May 2019. It also represents 24.1% increase (38.8 billion vehicle miles) compared with April 2020. Cumulative Travel for 2020 changed by -17.3% (-227.2 billion vehicle miles). The cumulative estimate for the year is 1,087.0 billion vehicle miles of travel.emphasis added Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven to remove the seasonal factors.Miles driven declined during

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Reis on Q2 Office, Mall and Apartment Vacancy Rates

3 days ago

From Reis economist Barbara Byrne Denham: The Apartment Vacancy Rate was unchanged in the second quarter but increased 0.2% from a year ago; Asking and Effective Rents declined 0.4% in the quarter after rising as much in the first quarter.The Office Vacancy Rate rose 0.1% as occupancy declined by 977,000 square feet; the Average Office Asking Rent declined 0.1% while the Effective Rent declined 0.4% in the quarter.The Retail Vacancy Rate was unchanged in the quarter at 10.2% despite a decline in occupancy of 1.125 million square feet; the Average Asking Rent declined 0.5% while the Average Effective Rent fell 0.6%. Mall statistics have not been finalized.The commercial real estate statistics listed above represent an average of 79 metros, except for the retail statistics which cover 77

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Comments on Weekly Unemployment Claims

3 days ago

A few comments:On a monthly basis, most analysts focus on initial unemployment claims for the BLS reference week of the employment report.  For July, the BLS reference week will be July 12th through the 18th, and initial claims for that week will be released on Thursday, July 23rd.Note that a couple of states have not released Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims yet, so the number of PUA claims is too low. However, there may also be processing delays that are impacting the numbers.Continued claims decreased last week to 18,062,000 (SA) from 18,760,000 (SA) the previous week. However, continued claims are down 6.8 million from the peak, suggesting a large number of people have returned to their jobs (as the employment report showed).The following graph shows regular initial

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Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 1,314,000

3 days ago

The DOL reported:In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 14,000 from 1,427,000 to 1,413,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 3,500 from 1,503,750 to 1,500,250. emphasis addedThe previous week was revised down.This does not include the 1,038,905 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).  This was an increase from the previous week, and the previous week was revised up.The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.Click on graph for larger image.The dashed

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Thursday: Unemployment Claims

4 days ago

Thursday:• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for a 1.400 million initial claims, down from 1.427 million the previous week.

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July 8 COVID-19 Test Results, Record Positive, Highest Percent Positive since Early May

4 days ago

The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day.There were 666,196 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 62,197 positive tests. Most ever. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 9.3% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state, check out testandtrace.com.

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Houston Real Estate in June: Sales Up 18.3% YoY, Inventory Down 17.5% YoY, Concerns going forward

4 days ago

From the HAR: Houston Home Buyers Pump Up the Volume in JuneA flurry of homes going under contract in May after COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders expired led to a surge of closings in June, driving home sales volumes back up to levels considered more normal for summertime in Houston – and even beyond 2019’s record pace. However, renewed coronavirus concerns, stemming from a spike in cases across greater Houston and in other parts of Texas, may bring this taste of normalcy to an end by the fall.According to the latest Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 9,328 single-family homes sold in June compared to 8,063 a year earlier. That translated to a 15.7 percent jump – a strong rebound from two straight months of declines brought on by coronavirus and ongoing

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NMHC: Rent Payment Tracker Finds Decline in People Paying Rent in July

4 days ago

Without further disaster relief, there will a significant housing and financial issue.From the NMHC: NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 77.4 Percent of Apartment Households Paid Rent as of July 6The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker found 77.4 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by July 6 in its survey of 11.4 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country.This is a 2.3-percentage point decrease from the share who paid rent through July 6, 2019 and compares to 80.8 percent that had paid by June 6, 2020. These data encompass a wide variety of market-rate rental properties across the United States, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.“It is clear that state and federal unemployment

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Census: Household Pulse Survey shows 34.9% of Households Expect Loss in Income; 25.9% Concerned about Housing

4 days ago

Note: The details in the pulse survey this week are concerning – especially about loss in income and concern about housing.First, from @ernietedeschi The @uscensusbureau Household Pulse Survey, which performed admirably in anticipating the June jobs report, now shows employment has fallen by about 1.3 million cumulatively over the last 2 weeks.Some of this may be seasonality or survey error, but it merits pause nonetheless.This graph is from Ernie Tedeschi (former US Treasury economist).Note: The question on lost income is always since March 13, 2020 – so this percentage will not decline.From the Census Bureau: Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicThe U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with five federal agencies, is in a unique position to produce

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U.S. Heavy Truck Sales down 42% Year-over-year in June

4 days ago

The following graph shows heavy truck sales since 1967 using data from the BEA. The dashed line is the June 2020 seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR).Heavy truck sales really collapsed during the great recession, falling to a low of 180 thousand SAAR in May 2009.  Then heavy truck sales increased to a new all time high of 575 thousand SAAR in September 2019.However heavy truck sales started declining late last year due to lower oil prices.Click on graph for larger image.And then heavy truck sales really declined towards the end of March due to COVID-19 and the collapse in oil prices.Heavy truck sales were at 305 thousand SAAR in June, up from 282 thousand SAAR in May, and down 42% from 527 thousand SAAR in June 2019.

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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

4 days ago

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications increased 2.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 3, 2020. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday…. The Refinance Index increased 0.4 percent from the previous week and was 111 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week and was 33 percent higher than the same week one year ago.Mortgage rates declined to another record low as renewed fears of a coronavirus resurgence offset the

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July 7 COVID-19 Test Results

5 days ago

The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day.There were 653,091 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 51,888 positive tests. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 7.9% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state, check out testandtrace.com.

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MBA Survey: "Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases for Third Straight Week to 8.39%" of Portfolio Volume

5 days ago

Note: To put these numbers in perspective, the MBA notes "For the week of March 2, only 0.25% of all loans were in forbearance."From the MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases for Third Straight Week to 8.39%The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 8 basis points from 8.47% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.39% as of June 28, 2020. According to MBA’s estimate, almost 4.2 million homeowners are in forbearance plans….“We learned last week that the job market improved more than expected in June. With that as background, it is not surprising that the forbearance numbers continue to improve as more people go back to their jobs,” said Mike

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Seattle Real Estate in June: Sales down 8% YoY, Inventory down 32% YoY

5 days ago

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Northwest MLS brokers report robust activity amid low interest rates, tight inventory, changing lifestyles Historically low interest rates and lifestyle changes are fueling housing activity around Washington state, according to Dean Rebhuhn, president of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville. Commenting on just-released June statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, he and other brokers say multiple offers are common “especially in the median price range.” …“Multiple offers are back with a vengeance as buyers are handicapped by having only about half the inventory of a year ago,” noted Dick Beeson, managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest in Tacoma-Gig Harbor. “The refrain, ‘Sorry to tell you, but the seller has accepted another

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Las Vegas Real Estate in June: Sales down 19% YoY, Inventory down 31% YoY

5 days ago

This report is for closed sales in June; sales are counted at the close of escrow, so the contracts for these homes were mostly signed in April and May.The Las Vegas Realtors reported Southern Nevada home prices holding their ground during crisis, LVR housing statistics for May 2020 LVR reported that a total of 2,934 existing local homes, condos and townhomes were sold during June – the third full month since Nevadans were ordered on March 17 to “stay home for Nevada.” Compared to the same time last year, June sales were down 15.1% for homes and down 35.0% for condos and townhomes. However, sales were up significantly from the previous month….By the end of June, LVR reported 5,079 single-family homes listed for sale without any sort of offer. That’s down 35.0% from one year ago. For

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BLS: Job Openings increased to 5.4 Million in May

5 days ago

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary The number of hires increased by 2.4 million to a series high of 6.5 million in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was the largest monthly increase of hires since the series began. Total separations decreased by 5.8 million to 4.1 million, the single largest decrease since the series began. Within separations, the quits rate rose to 1.6 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.4 percent. Job openings increased to 5.4 million on the last business day of May. These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. emphasis addedThe following

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CoreLogic: House Prices up 4.8% Year-over-year in May

5 days ago

Notes: This CoreLogic House Price Index report is for May. The recent Case-Shiller index release was for April. The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).From CoreLogic: Prepare for a Cooldown: CoreLogic Reports Home Prices Were Up in May, but Could Slump Over the SummerNationally, home prices increased by 4.8%, compared with May 2019. Home prices increased 0.7% in May 2020 compared with April of this year.Strong home purchase demand in the first quarter of 2020, coupled with tightening supply, has helped prop up home prices through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. However, the anticipated impacts of the recession are beginning to appear across the housing market. Despite new contract signings rising year over year in May, home price

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Tuesday: Job Openings

6 days ago

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Staying Very Flat and Very LowMortgage rates barely budged for the third straight day, which is welcome news considering they are at all-time lows. [Top Tier Scenarios 30YR FIXED – 2.94]emphasis addedTuesday:• At 8:00 AM ET, Corelogic House Price index for May• At 10:00 AM, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for May from the BLS.

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July 6 COVID-19 Test Results

6 days ago

Note: There might be some missing or late reporting today due to the holiday weekend.The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day.There were 518,392 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 47,375 positive tests. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 9.1% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state,

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AAR: June Rail Carloads down 22.4% YoY, Intermodal Down 6.6% YoY

6 days ago

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission. U.S. rail volumes in June weren’t close to where they would have been absent the pandemic, but for the most part they were better than in April and May, so at least they’re heading in the right direction. Whether that continues is, of course, a separate question, but the worst may be behind us.emphasis added Click on graph for larger image.This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows the six week average of U.S. Carloads in 2018, 2019 and 2020:Total originated U.S. rail carloads fell 22.4% in June 2020 from June 2019, a troubling result but better than the 25.2% decline in April and 27.7% decline in May. Average weekly total carloads in June were 198,564, the

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By Request: Percent Permanent Job Losers by Recession

6 days ago

The second graph is the so-called "scariest job chart" ever. That graph shows the percent job losses for all recessions since WWII.Joe Weisenthal at Bloomberg asked if I could make a similar graph showing percent permanent job losers.Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows permanent job losers as a percent of the pre-recession peak in employment through the June report.This data is only available back to 1994, so there is only data for three recessions.As temporary job losses become permanent, the percent of permanent job losers will probably continue to increase for some time.The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and the

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Black Knight Mortgage Monitor for May, Cash-Out Refinance Activity Declined

6 days ago

Black Knight released their Mortgage Monitor report for May today. According to Black Knight, 7.76% of mortgages were delinquent in May, up from 6.45% in April, and up from 3.36% in May 2019. Black Knight also reported that 0.38% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process, down from 0.49% a year ago.This gives a total of 8.14% delinquent or in foreclosure.Press Release: Black Knight’s May 2020 Mortgage MonitorToday, the Data & Analytics division of Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) released its latest Mortgage Monitor Report, based upon the company’s industry-leading mortgage performance, housing and public records datasets. As Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske explained, despite record-low interest rates and record-high levels of tappable equity – the amount available to

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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased to 57.1% in June

6 days ago

The June ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 57.1%, up from 45.4% in May. The employment index increased to 43.1%, from 31.8%. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction. From the Institute for Supply Management: June 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June after two consecutive months of contraction, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The NMI® registered 57.1 percent, 11.7 percentage points higher than the May reading of 45.4 percent. This reading represents growth

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Six High Frequency Indicators for a Recovery

6 days ago

These indicators are mostly for travel and entertainment – some of the sectors that will probably recover very slowly.The TSA is providing daily travel numbers. Click on graph for larger image.This data shows the daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Blue) and 2020 (Red).On July 1st there were 626,516 travelers compared to 2,547,889 a year ago.That is a decline of 75%. There has been a slow steady increase from the bottom, but air travel is still down significantly.The second graph shows the7 day average of the year-over-year change in diners as tabulated by OpenTable for the US and several selected cities.Thanks to OpenTable for providing this restaurant data:This data is updated through July 4, 2020.This data is "a sample of restaurants on the OpenTable network across

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Sunday Night Futures

7 days ago

Weekend:• Schedule for Week of July 5, 2020Monday:• At 10:00 AM ET, 1the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for June.   The consensus is for a reading of 50.0, up from 45.4.From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures S&P 500 are up 13 and DOW futures are up 95 (fair value).Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $40.48 per barrel and Brent at $43.06 barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $57, and Brent was at $64 – so WTI oil prices are down about 30% year-over-year. Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.17 per gallon. A year ago prices were at $2.73 per gallon, so gasoline prices are down $0.56 per gallon year-over-year.

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July 5 COVID-19 Test Results

7 days ago

The US is now conducting over 600,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly.According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day.There were 654,489 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 42,551 positive tests. Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 6.5% (red line). For the status of contact tracing by state, check out testandtrace.com.

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