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  • Wed, Sep 11 2019
  • 3:26 PM » Merrill on Retail "Consumer demand pulled back in August"
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 3:26 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    A few excerpts from two BofA Merrill Lynch research notes: Consumer demand pulled back in August Based on the aggregated BAC credit and debit card data, retail sales ex-autos fell 0.5% month-over-month (mom) seasonally adjusted (sa). This reversed the 0.9% mom gain in July. As always, there were a number of "special factors" which we decipher in this note. Amazon Prime Day and other retailers' summer promotions in mid-July provided a significant boost to spending, as we showed last month. In our view, these promotions effectively pulled forward demand into July and out of August. Outside of the promotion distortions, we also think spending was dampened by weakening sentiment. emphasis added And on confidence: The uneasy consumer The consumer is beginning to worry . Since our last update in mid-August, the BofAML US consumer confidence indicator (USCCI) declined by 3.8 points to 50.1 based on data through September 9. It briefly dipped below the 50 breakeven level during the survey period indicating that the consumer is growing increasingly pessimistic . CR Note: Retail sales for August will be released on Friday, and the consensus is for a 0.3% increase in retail sales.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:03 PM » Building Materials Price Growth Slows in August
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 2:03 PM by
    Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased by 0.8% in August (not seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Building materials prices have declined an average of 0.1% per month over the last 12 months, compared to an average monthly increase of 0.8% during the same period 2017-2018.... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:03 PM » Housing Finance Reform Battle Lines Drawn in Senate Hearing
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 2:03 PM by
    There's bipartisan support for reforming Fannie and Freddie-but not as much agreement on how to approach affordable housing. The post Housing Finance Reform Battle Lines Drawn in Senate Hearing appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:24 PM » Bond Wizards Find Exotic Ways to Profit From Negative Yields - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 1:24 PM by Bloomberg
    Bond Wizards Find Exotic Ways to Profit From Negative Yields    Bloomberg It's the bond market equivalent of alchemy: converting negative interest rates into a bonanza of yield via the magic of derivatives.
  • 1:23 PM » Houston Real Estate in August: Sales up 4% YoY, Inventory Up 8%
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 1:23 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the HAR: Houston Home Sales Sizzle in August Temperatures weren't the only thing soaring in August. Home sales registered another hot month, as low mortgage interest rates kept consumers in a buying mood. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), August sales of single-family homes throughout greater Houston totaled 8,679. That is up 3.9 percent year-over-year and marks the second largest one-month sales volume of all time; the record of 8,930 was set just last month. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 3.1 percent ahead of 2018's record volume. ... Housing inventory still remains ahead of 2018 levels. It reached a 4.2-months supply in August compared to 4.0 months a year earlier. So far in 2019, June and July marked the peak of inventory - a 4.3-months supply. Robust inventory and mortgage interest rates currently averaging 3.49 percent (according to Freddie Mac) have created a favorable climate for home buyers and paved the way for one of the strongest summers in Houston real estate history. Sales of all property types increased 4.1 percent in August , totaling 10,375 units. That marks the second highest one-month volume of all time. The record for total property sales in a single month was 10,444 set just last month, in July 201[9], which also was the first time that figure broke the 10,00[0] mark. Total dollar volume for the month climbed 6.6 percent to $3.1 billion. "This has been one of the hottest summers in Houston history, both in terms of temperatures and home sales," said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. "The Houston real estate market typically slows a bit once school starts and we get into fall, but with interest rates as low as they've been and a steadily growing supply of homes, it's possible that sales don't let up until closer to the holidays. The rental segment has also been extremely active and looks to...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:28 AM » Explainer: How does negative rate policy work?
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 11:28 AM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that the U.S. Federal Reserve drive interest rates into negative territory. He says his motivation was to refinance the U.S. government's $22 trillion in outstanding debt and lengthen the amount of time over which it is repaid.
  • 11:05 AM » Employment: August Diffusion Indexes
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 11:05 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    I haven't posted this in a few months. The BLS diffusion index for total private employment was at 53.5 in August, down from 57.8 in July. For manufacturing, the diffusion index was at 51.3, down from 53.9 in August. Think of this as a measure of how widespread job gains are across industries. The further from 50 (above or below), the more widespread the job losses or gains reported by the BLS.  From the BLS : Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment. Overall both total private and manufacturing job growth were not widespread in August. Both indexes have been trending down in 2019 - indicating job growth is becoming less widespread across industries.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:42 AM » Deutsche Bank sees four rate cuts by January, says the US risks 'zero rates' if trade war escalates
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 9:42 AM by CNBC
    Deutsche Bank warned if there's an escalation in the trade war, the U.S. could see a "mild recession" and interest rates falling to zero.
  • 8:53 AM » US producer prices unexpectedly rise in August
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 8:53 AM by CNBC
    U.S. producer prices unexpectedly rose in August and underlying producer prices rebounded.
  • 8:06 AM » Tumbling Treasuries Drive Yields to Highest Levels in a Month
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 8:06 AM by Bloomberg
    Tumbling Treasuries Drive Yields to Highest Levels in a Month    Bloomberg The U.S. bond market's September sell-off kept going on Tuesday, driving Treasury yields to the highest levels in a month, as traders gird for a potentially pivotal ...
  • 8:05 AM » Trump urges zero or negative interest rates to tackle U.S. debt
    Published Wed, Sep 11 2019 8:05 AM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the Federal Reserve should lower U.S. interest rates to "zero or less" to help "refinance our debt" with lower interest costs and a longer term, and blamed the central bank's chief for missing a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
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