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

23 hours ago

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.Click 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

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Schedule for Week of January 17, 2021

1 day ago

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

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January 15 COVID-19 Test Results

2 days ago

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.Click 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

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

2 days ago

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.

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

2 days ago

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 ContinuesThe 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

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Q4 GDP Forecasts

2 days ago

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 addedFrom the NY Fed Nowcasting ReportThe 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: GDPNowThe 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]

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

2 days ago

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

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

2 days ago

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity UtilizationIndustrial 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)

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Retail Sales decreased 0.7% in December

2 days ago

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 Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted

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

3 days ago

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).

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January 14 COVID-19 Test Results; Record 7-Day Deaths

3 days ago

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 2,010,144 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 222,944 positive tests.Almost 43,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 11.1% (red line

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Leading Index for Commercial Real Estate Increased in December

3 days ago

From Dodge Data Analytics: Dodge Momentum Index Ends 2020 on a High NoteThe Dodge Momentum Index jumped 9.2% in December to 134.6 (2000=100) from the revised November reading of 123.3. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 14.0%, while the institutional component rose by 0.3%. The gain in the commercial component of the Momentum Index was heartening even though the increase was mostly the result of a sizeable increase in warehouse planning. The warehouse sector has been one of the few areas of construction that has

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Declined 28.3% Year-over-year

3 days ago

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 9 JanuaryU.S. weekly hotel occupancy fell back below the 40% mark, according to STR‘s latest data through 9 January.3-9 January 2021 (percentage change from comparable week in 2020):• Occupancy: 37.0% (-28.3%)• Average daily rate (ADR): US$87.97 (-27.1%)• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$32.59 (-47.7%) The previous week’s occupancy was lifted by New Year’s travel. As that holiday travel dissipated, TSA checkpoint counts and hotel room demand each declined by roughly 1.3 million in a week-over-week comparison. emphasis addedThe following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.Click on graph for larger image.The red line is for 2021, black is 2020, blue is the median, and

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Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 965,000

3 days ago

The DOL reported:In the week ending January 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 965,000, an increase of 181,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 3,000 from 787,000 to 784,000. The 4-week moving average was 834,250, an increase of 18,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 2,750 from 818,750 to 816,000. emphasis addedThis does not include the 284,470 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 161,159 the previous week.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

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Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Fed Chair Powell

4 days ago

Thursday:• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for an increase to 850 thousand from 787 thousand last week.• At 12:30 PM, Discussion, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, "A Conversation with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell", At a livestream event hosted by Markus Brunnermerier, Director, Princeton University Bendheim Center for Finance

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January 13 COVID-19 Test Results; Record 7-Day Deaths

4 days ago

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 1,793,568 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 219,090 positive tests.Almost 39,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 12.2% (red line

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Las Vegas Visitor Authority: No Convention Attendance, Visitor Traffic Down 57% YoY in November

4 days ago

From the Las Vegas Visitor Authority: November 2020 Las Vegas Visitor StatisticsWith increasing COVID cases across the country and resumption of tighter travel restrictions and stay‐at‐ home orders in the latter half of November, Las Vegas visitation came in at approximately 1.5M, down ‐18.4% MoM and ‐56.8% YoY. Total occupancy reached 39.3% for the month with weekend occupancy coming in at 55.4% and midweek occupancy at 32.4%. Average daily rates among open properties reached $94 (‐10.1% MoM, ‐30.3% YoY) while RevPAR came in at approx. $37, down ‐69% vs. Nov 2019.Here is the data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Click on graph for larger image. The blue and red bars are monthly visitor traffic (left scale) for 2019 and 2020.   The dashed blue and orange lines are

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Houston Real Estate in December: Sales Up 27% YoY, Inventory Down 29% YoY

4 days ago

From the HAR: The Houston Housing Market Defies a Pandemic to Set New Records in 2020Not even a devastating global pandemic could stop the Houston real estate market from shattering records as it crossed the finish line for the 2020 calendar year. Single-family home sales surpassed 2019’s record volume by more than 10 percent, even as the supply of homes withered to the lowest levels of all time. … According to HAR’s 2020 annual market report, single-family home sales rose 10.5 percent to 96,151. Sales of all property types for the year totaled 115,523. That represents an 11.6-percent increase over 2019’s record volume and marks only the second time in history that total property sales broke the 100,000 level. Total dollar volume for 2020 shot up 18.1 percent to a record-breaking $35.3

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Cleveland Fed: Key Measures Show Inflation Soft in December

4 days ago

The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% December. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in December. "The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly CPI report".Note: The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI details for December here. Motor fuel was up 161% annualized in December. Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.2%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 2.1%, and the CPI less

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BLS: CPI increased 0.4% in December, Core CPI Increased 0.1%

4 days ago

From the BLS: The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.4 percent before seasonal adjustment. The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was driven by an 8.4-percent increase in the gasoline index, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the overall increase. The other components of the energy index were mixed, resulting in an increase of 4.0 percent for the month. The food index rose in December, as both the food at home and the food away from home indexes increased 0.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy

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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 16.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 8, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the holidays…. The Refinance Index increased 20 percent from the previous week and was 93 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 60 percent compared with the previous week and was 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago.“Booming refinance activity in the first full week of 2021 caused mortgage

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Wednesday: CPI, Beige Book

5 days ago

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, The Consumer Price Index for December from the BLS. The consensus is for 0.4% increase in CPI, and a 0.1% increase in core CPI.• At 2:00 PM, the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.

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January 12 COVID-19 Test Results; Record 7-Day Deaths

5 days ago

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 1,871,244 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 213,885 positive tests.Almost 35,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 11.4% (red line

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BLS: Job Openings "Little Changed" at 6.5 Million in November

5 days ago

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary The number of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million on the last business day of November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 6.0 million while total separations increased to 5.4 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.4 percent.emphasis addedThe following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS. This series started in December 2000.Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for November, the most

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Small Business Optimism Decreased in December

5 days ago

Most of this survey is noise, but sometimes there is some information.From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): December 2020 ReportThe Optimism Index declined to 95.9 in December, down 5.5. points from November. Nine of the 10 Index components declined and one improved. The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased 8 points to 82. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 24 points to a net negative 16 percent. The percent of owners thinking it’s a good time to expand decreased 4 points to 8 percent. Sales expectations over the next three months declined 14 points to a net negative 4 percent..Covid-19 is spreading at record rates and hospitals are at capacity in many states. Several vaccines were proven effective in trials, approved for

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Tuesday: Job Openings

6 days ago

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Rates Rising at Fastest Pace in MonthsMortgage rates are coming off a rough week–the roughest, in fact, since June 2020 by some measures. That’s the last time rates rose this quickly for market-driven reasons. There were a few instances of bigger moves in Aug/Sept as the new refinance fee was announced, delayed, and ultimately implemented. Either way, things aren’t great right now, relatively speaking. The "relative" qualification is important considering this abrupt move higher has yet to threaten to take the average top tier 30yr fixed quote above 3%–far from it, in fact. Most lenders can still offer 2.875% or better on refis and 2.625% or better on purchases. This assumes an ideal scenario with 20%+ equity, strong credit, etc. emphasis

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January 11 COVID-19 Test Results; Record 7-Day Cases and Deaths

6 days ago

Note: 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 1,897,059 test results reported over the last 24 hours.There were 193,857 positive tests.Almost 31,000 US deaths have been reported so far in January. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.Click on graph for larger image.This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 10.2% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by

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MBA Survey: "Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 5.46%"

6 days ago

Note: This is as of January 3rd.From the MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 5.46%The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased from 5.53% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.46% as of January 3, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans…."The share of loans in forbearance slightly declined for each investor category entering the new year, remaining within the narrow range observed for the last two months,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The data show that those homeowners who remain in forbearance are more likely to be in distress, with fewer continuing to make

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Sacramento Housing in December: Sales increase 23% YoY, Active Inventory down 44% YoY

6 days ago

Note that December sales are for contracts typically signed in October and November.From SacRealtor.org: December sales volume up 23% annually, inventory at .5 monthsDecember ended with 1,528 sales, up 1.1% from the 1,511 sales in November. Compared to one year ago (1,244), the current figure is up 22.8%….The Active Listing Inventory decreased 23.4% from November to December, from 959 units to 735 units. Compared with December 2019 (1,315), inventory is down 44.1%. The Months of Inventory dropped from .6 Months to .5 Months. This figure represents the amount of time (in months) it would take for the current rate of sales to deplete the total active listing inventory. The chart below reflects the Months of Inventory in each price range….The Median DOM (days on market) remained at 7 and

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