Home >> Author Archives: Mark Lieberman (page 5)

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.

Case-Shiller Indices Near Five-Year High

Home prices rose to their highest levels in almost five years in May, increasing by a non-seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. The 20-city index was up 12.2 percent from a year earlier, and the companion 10-city index was up 11.8 percent. For the month, the 10-city index rose 2.5 percent and the 20-city index was up 2.4 percent. The two surveys have improved month-over-month and year-over-year for 12 consecutive months.

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Commentary: Obama’s Magical Mystery Tour

President Obama embarked this week on a series of speeches designed to highlight the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós continued economic stress. The immediate response and from both ends of the political spectrum was to decry his efforts as same-old, same-old. And, it is true the President has made this pitch before, emphasizing that the significant progress has made is not enough.

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Pace of New Home Sales Climbs to Five-Year High

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales welled 8.3 percent in June to 497,000, according to a report from the Census Bureau and HUD. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected June sales to increase to 484,000 from May's originally reported 476,000. The median price of a new home fell 5.0 percent in June to $249,700, the third time the median price has dropped in the last four months. At the same time, May's median price was revised down to $262,800 from the originally reported $263,900.

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Home Price Boost Sends Sales Down in June

Existing-home sales fell 1.2 percent in June to an annual sales rate of 5.08 million as the price of a single-family home rose 13.5 percent from a year earlier--the strongest year-over-year gain since November 2005, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. The drop in sales came despite an increase in April in NAR├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks contracts for existing single-family homes. The index rose in April to 105.7 from 104.1 in March and fell in May.

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Commentary: Walking the Walk

In the last three months, confidence is up 16 points, or almost 40 percent. With giddy numbers like these, one would think builders would rush to break ground, but they're not.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Drop to 10-Week Low

Unemployment

One week after spiking to a two-month high, first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 24,000 to 334,000 for the week ending July 13--the lowest level in 10 weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to drop to 344,000 from the 360,000 originally reported for the week ending July 6. The number of filings for that week was revised down to 358,000.

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Beige Book Again Sees Modest to Moderate Growth

Fed

Citing improvements in manufacturing, tourism, commercial and residential real estate and in the financial sector, the Federal Reserve said the nation's economy continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace from late May through early July.

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What Soaring Confidence? Builders Cut Back in June

Despite soaring builder confidence, new housing permits and starts fell in June, with new construction falling to the lowest level in 10 months, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new housing permits tumbled 7.5 percent--the largest month-over-month decline since January 2011--while starts fell 9.9 percent, the second-largest drop since February 2011. Builders completed homes at an annual adjusted pace of 755,000 in June, 6.3 percent more than May.

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Builder Confidence Surges Again in July

After surging in June, the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI)--a measure of builder confidence--shot up again in July, climbing six points to 57, its highest reading since January 2006, the group reported Tuesday. The two-month 13-point gain was the strongest two-month increase since January-February 1992, when the index improved 14 points. All three of the HMI components increased for the third month in a row.

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