Sunday , January 17 2021
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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

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

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...

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Schedule for Week of January 17, 2021

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...

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January 15 COVID-19 Test Results

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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Q4 GDP Forecasts

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%...

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

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,...

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

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...

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Retail Sales decreased 0.7% in December

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...

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

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...

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