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Tag Archives: Confidence

Builder Confidence Suffers Another Setback

Builder confidence fell again in October but remained north of neutral, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Wednesday in its Housing Market Index (HMI) report. Despite declining for the second straight month, the index has hovered above the neutral mark for five consecutive months now, and NAHB reports seeing signs of pent-up demand in many markets across the country. Furthermore, the association believes October's drop represents a temporary blip.

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Consumer Confidence (Mostly) Weathers Government Shutdown

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to a nine-month low in its preliminary October reading, but analysts say the drop wasn't as bad as it could have been. The index plunged to 75.2 in the mid-month report, down from 77.5 at the end of September. The fall in the headline index was due entirely to a drop in consumer expectations. The Surveys of Consumers' Index of Consumer Expectations fell to a 2013 low of 63.9 from September's 67.8.

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Consumer Optimism Retreats as Fiscal Policy Fight Unfolds

While consumers are still "generally positive" on average about housing and the economy, attitudes over the last few months suggest optimism has hit a plateau, Fannie Mae says. While September's survey results show attitudes leading up to the October shutdown, they do not necessarily reveal its full effects (or those of the pending debt ceiling debate), the company noted. Those results should be seen in the surveys for October and the following months.

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Commentary: Same Old, Same Old

The summer is over and with it the end of re-runs of (some of) our favorite shows. Still, there├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós one more re-run we have to endure, but with a new twist: Republicans in Congress balking at increasing the debt ceiling and threatening a government shutdown when the federal fiscal year ends October 1--unless (and this is the twist) legislation passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President is tweaked, modified, changed, delayed, or otherwise abandoned.

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August Personal Income Improves at Fastest Pace since February

Personal income grew in August at its fastest pace since February, and consumer spending grew faster than July, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The growth matched economist forecasts of a 0.4 percent boost in income and a 0.3 percent increase in spending. BEA also revised up its estimate of both spending and income growth in July.

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Second-Quarter GDP Maintains 2.5% Growth Rate

The nation's economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revealed Thursday. Economists had expected the report--the third in the series of monthly GDP reports by the BEA--to show the economy had grown at a 2.8 percent annual rate, which would have been faster than the 2.5 percent growth rate BEA reported a month ago.

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Consumers Remain Upbeat on Home Prices

Even as price increases start to lose momentum, the majority of Americans polled by finance site Bankrate.com anticipate more gains over the next year. According to Bankrate, 55 percent of Americans surveyed think prices will go up over the next 12 months, while 27 percent said they expect prices to stay flat. "It seems like Americans' love affair with real estate has returned," said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate, though he admitted there are still "some clear headwinds."

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