Saturday , January 18 2020
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The author Bill McBride
Bill McBride
A full time blogger, Mr. McBride retired as a senior executive from a small public company in the '90s. Mr. McBride holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and has a background in management, finance and economics.

Calculated Risk

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in December

From housing economist Tom Lawler:Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports released across the country through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.40 million in December, up 0.9% from November’s preliminary pace and up 8.0% from last December’s weak seasonally-adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a significantly higher YOY gain, with the SA/NSA difference reflecting...

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CAR on California December Housing: Sales up 7.4% YoY, Inventory down 26.5%, Lowest Inventory in "nearly seven years"

The CAR reported: Low interest rates boost housing market in second half of year as home prices post strong gains in December, C.A.R. reportsClosed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 398,880 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...

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Q4 GDP Forecasts: 1.2% to 2.0%

From Merrill Lynch On balance retail sales cut our 4Q GDP tracking by 0.2pp to 2.0% qoq saar. [Jan 17 estimate]emphasis addedFrom the NY Fed Nowcasting ReportThe New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.2% for 2019:Q4 and 1.7% for 2020:Q1. [Jan 17 estimate]And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNowThe GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2019 is 1.8 percent on January 17, unchanged from January 16 after rounding. After this morning’s...

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Comments on December Housing Starts

Earlier: Housing Starts increased to 1.608 Million Annual Rate in DecemberTotal housing starts in December were well above expectations and revisions to prior months were positive. The housing starts report showed starts were up 16.9% in December compared to November, and starts were up 40.8% year-over-year compared to December 2018.These were blow out numbers! This was the highest level for starts since December 2006 (end of the bubble). However, the weather was very nice in December, and...

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BLS: Job Openings "Fell" to 6.8 Million in November

Notes: In November there were 6.800 million job openings, and, according to the November Employment report, there were 5.811 million unemployed. So, for the twenty-first consecutive month, there were more job openings than people unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015 (almost 5 years).From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary The number of job openings fell to 6.8 million (-561,000) on the last business day of...

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Industrial Production Decreased in December

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity UtilizationIndustrial production declined 0.3 percent in December, as a decrease of 5.6 percent for utilities outweighed increases of 0.2 percent for manufacturing and 1.3 percent for mining. The drop for utilities resulted from a large decrease in demand for heating, as unseasonably warm weather in December followed unseasonably cold weather in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production moved down at an annual...

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Housing Starts increased to 1.608 Million Annual Rate in December

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and CompletionsHousing Starts:Privately‐owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,608,000. This is 16.9 percent above the revised November estimate of 1,375,000 and is 40.8 percent above the December 2018 rate of 1,142,000. Single‐family housing starts in December were at a rate of 1,055,000; this is 11.2 percent above the revised November figure of 949,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five...

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Friday: Housing Starts, Industrial Production, Job Openings

Friday:• At 8:30 AM ET, Housing Starts for December. The consensus is for 1.378 million SAAR, up from 1.365 million SAAR.• At 9:15 AM, The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December. The consensus is for a 0.1% decrease in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to be decrease to 77.1%.• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (Preliminary for January). The consensus is for a reading of 99.3.• At 10:00 AM, Job Openings and...

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Decreases Year-over-year

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 11 JanuaryThe U.S. hotel industry reported negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 5-11 January 2020, according to data from STR.In comparison with the week of 6-12 January 2019, the industry recorded the following:• Occupancy: -3.1% to 51.7%• Average daily rate (ADR): -4.7% to US$120.43• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): -7.7% to US$62.30emphasis addedThe following graph shows the...

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NAHB: Builder Confidence Decreased to 75 in January

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 75, down from 76 in December. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.From NAHB: Builder Confidence Begins Year Strong as Single-Family Growth Continues Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged one point lower to 75 in January, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing...

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