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Tag Archives: Confidence

Beige Book Shows Expanding Economy at End of 2012

Fed

Economic activity "expanded" in the closing weeks of 2012, the Federal Reserve said in its periodic Beige Book released Wednesday, reflecting a slow but steadily declining unemployment rate and low rates of inflation--conditions the Fed said would have to be met before it raises interest rates. According to the report, "real estate activity has expanded or held steady in 11 Districts for existing home sales and leasing; eight Districts for residential construction; 11 Districts for nonresidential sales and leasing; and nine Districts for nonresidential construction."

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Builder Confidence Hits Wall in January

Builder confidence stalled in January as the Housing Market Index (HMI) stood at 47, remaining at its highest level since April 2006, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Wednesday. Economists had expected the index to tick up to 48. With the January report, the index remained below 50--the tipping point between a positive and negative market assessment--for the 81st straight month. The last time the HMI was above 50 was April 2006, when the reading was 51 and falling.

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Initial Jobless Claims Jump to 372K to End 2012

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose 10,000 to 372,000 for the week ending December 29, the third-lowest level of the year, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 363,000. The previous week's report was revised upward to 362,000 from the originally reported 350,000, an unusually large revision but reflective of intervening holidays, during which state processing offices were closed.

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Builder Confidence Sees Another Boost in December

Builder confidence continued to improve in December as the Housing Market Index (HMI) rose two points to 47--its highest level since April 2006--the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Tuesday. It was the eighth straight monthly increase in the index and matched economist expectations. Two of the three components of the index improved--the measures of current sales and buyer traffic--while the gauge of sales six months out slipped one point from the revised November reading of 52 (down from the original 53).

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Report Examines Effect of Consumer Expectations on Price Recovery

A recently released Home Value Forecast from Pro Teck and Collateral Analytics posits that consumer expectations of price trends can actually keep them going and even add to their momentum. Pro Teck CEO Tom O'Grady says that as home buyers perceive prices are rising or falling, they behave in a way that actually encourages the trend. For example, rising prices "also increase net worth and encourage those buyers who have been sitting on the fence to purchase," increasing turnover rates and reinforcing more price gains.

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Consumer Confidence Takes a Dive Over Fiscal Cliff Concerns

A preliminary report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan shows consumer confidence took a major hit to start December. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment fell to 74.5, a substantial drop from November's promising 82.7. The median forecast from economists polled by Reuters was 82.4. Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, said the decline stems from worries over Washington's apparent lack of progress in fiscal cliff negotiations.

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Jobless Rate Drops to 4-Year Low

Unemployment

Superstorm Sandy blew a hole not in the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós labor market, but in economists├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó crystal balls as the economy added 146,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent--the lowest level since December 2008--the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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