Carpe Diem

Economic updates

1. Home sales in the city of Seattle increased 41% in November from a year ago.  For the entire metro area, sales increased 19%, while the median sales price increased 20%.

2. The number of housing markets considered “improving” according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) surged by 76 to a total of 201 metros in December.

3. The St. Louis Fed Stress Index remains below zero this week at pre-recession 2007 levels, suggesting that the amount of stress in the financial markets is consistent with an economy in a recovery, not an economy in recession, or on the brink of recession.

4. The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index is also indicating no sign of recessionary conditions, and continues on a downward trend this week that started about a year ago, indicating improving, not deteriorating, financial conditions.

5. Data Quick is reporting today that national home sales for the most recent 30-day period are up by 16.3% from the same period last year, and the median home sales price is up by 8.6%.

6. Nashville home sales surged by 38% in November, while the median price for single-family homes increased by 7.4%.

7. The Michigan Legislature today took the first step toward making the Great Lake State the 24th right-to-work state in the nation, announcing what Gov. Rick Snyder termed the “Workplace Fairness and Equity Act.”

8 thoughts on “Economic updates

  1. in a period when the fed is buying a trillion dollars in assets a year and deliberately flattening the yield curve and keeping the short end anchored at zero, why would the st louis feed stress index provide an sort of meaningful reading? it’s all just based on rate spreads.

    garbage in, garbage out.

    • Well, it’s trying to flatten the curve, but is the attempt really working? Can we adequately scrape out the effect of the Fed from the effect of capital looking for safety?

      Also, it’s possible to flatten the curve another way – just abandon ZIRP (that won’t necessarily flatten it, but then the twist and assorted shenanigans don’t necessarily flatten it either).

      That said, the Fed stress index didn’t feel any stress as the banks were getting stressed out. Not until the whole thing blew did the index measure stress. Unlike the VIX, it’s not forward looking, so I don’t see much point in it unless it’s an excuse to employ more economists. If I’m wrong about that, please let me know, but I don’t see the value in this thing except to draw me a picture of what I already know.

  2. As much as I support right-to-work legislation, I hate that it is called that. “Right-To-Work” implies that one is entitled to a job (which one is not. For the majority of workers in America, employment may be terminated by either party for any reason. That, by definition, makes it not a right). I’d rather it be called a “right to choose” or “right to assemble” legislation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>