Home >> Author Archives: Mark Lieberman (page 25)

Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

Initial Jobless Claims Fall Sharply as Changes Befall Auto Industry

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 35,000 for the week ended July 21 to 353,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 380,000 initial claims. The prior week├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós total was revised up to 388,000 from the originally reported 386,000. The surprisingly strong report came just two weeks after initial claims had plunged to a four-year low ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 352,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reflecting seasonal adjustments to account for annual auto industry furloughs as car makers retool for a new model year.

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June New Home Sales Plunge to Five-Month Low

New home sales fell to 350,000, setting a five-month low in June, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Wednesday. Economists had expected sales to inch up slightly from the preliminary sales report in May. May sales were revised up to 382,000 from the originally reported 369,000. Both the average and median price of a new home fell in June from May. The median price was also down from June 2011 while the average price was up slightly. The average price of a new home fell in June to $273,900.

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Initial Jobless Claims Rebound to Four-Week High

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose 34,000 for the week ended July 14 to 386,000 - the highest level in four weeks - the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 365,000 initial claims. The prior week's total was revised up to 352,000 from the originally reported 350,000. Initial claims had plunged in the week ended July 7 to a four year low as seasonal adjustments ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô used to correct for sharp changes in raw data due to recurring annual phenomena ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô offset annual furloughs of auto workers when plants re-tooled for the new model year.

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Beige Book Finds ‘Modest to Moderate’ Progress for Economy

Fed

The U.S. economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in June and early July the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book. The national summary, based on reports from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, noted "modest growth" in the Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Francisco districts, while the Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas districts said economic activity was "advancing moderately." All district housing market reports, the Beige Book said, were "largely positive."

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Median Prices for Existing Homes Reach Four-Year High

The median price of an existing single-family home rose in June to the highest level since 2008, marking a fifth straight month-over-month gain, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. The trade group found the median price up 7.9 percent from June 2011. Existing-home sales dropped to 4.37 million in June, reaching the lowest level since last October, according to the group. It was the fourth drop in the last five months. Economists had expected the sales pace to increase to 4.65 million from 4.62 million in May.

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June Housing Starts Rise to Highest Level Since 2008

Housing starts in June soared to their highest level since October 2008, surging 6.9 percent to 760,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Wednesday. Housing permits dropped 3.7 percent to 755,000 giving back half of May's gain. At the same time, permits for May were revised up to 784,000 from the originally reported 780,000 and housing starts were revised up for both April and May, to 747,000 and 711,000 respectively from 744,000 and 708,000. Total housing completions in June rose to 622,000.

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Homebuilder Confidence Soars to Five-Year High in July

Builder confidence jumped six points in July to its highest level since March 2007, the National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday. Economists had expected a modest one point increase in July. The six-point gain to 35 was the largest month-month gain since September 2002 when the confidence gauge rose eight points. The increase in the index was driven by a sharp gain in the outlook for sales six months out which rose 11 points in July to 44, the highest level since April 2007. The index is up 23 points since July 2011.

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Initial Jobless Claims Reach Four-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 26,000 to 350,00 in early July, reaching the lowest level since March 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The prior week's total was revised up to 376,000 from the originally reported 374,000. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a modest decline to 375,000 initial claims. Continuing claims ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported on a one-week lag ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell 14,000 to 3,304,000 from the prior week's 3,318,000, revised from the originally reported 3,306,000.

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Initial Jobless Claims Down Ahead of Jobs Report

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell a sharp 14,000 to 374,000 for the week ended June 30, the Labor Department said Thursday, finding the largest drop in nine weeks. The prior week's total was revised up to 388,000 from the originally reported 386,000. The drop in claims was the second week-over-week improvement and came on the weekend heading into the July 4 holiday, usually a slower period for layoffs, according to seasonal factors. An uncertain employment report will follow on Friday.

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