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Tag Archives: Confidence

Leading Indicators Show Signs of Economic Stability

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for January increased 0.3 percent to 99.5, the group reported Thursday. Also released Thursday were the Conference Board Coincident Economic Index and the Lagging Economic Index, which both ticked up slightly. Together, the three indexes represent observed changes in average weekly hours, building permits, stock prices, consumer expectations for business conditions, and more.

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Builder Confidence Plunges as Buyers Shy Away

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI), released in partnership with Wells Fargo, posted a 10-point decline to 46 in the group’s latest report. It was the first time since May 2013 that the index measured below 50, the “neutral” point between a market viewed as “good” or “bad.” All four regions reported declines in confidence, with losses ranging from seven points in the South to 14 points in the West.

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Housing Optimism Continues to Climb

A report released by Prudential Real Estate finds that the number of consumers--particularly young ones--who are optimistic about residential real estate took a healthy step higher in December. According to Prudential, 78 percent of consumers (and nearly 90 percent of Millennials) surveyed look favorably toward the residential market in 2014. This is a full 5 percentage points more than the company's third-quarter 2013 results and 15 points more than its end-of-year 2012 results.

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Consumer Sentiment Withstands Economic Stumble

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Index of Consumer Sentiment stood at a reading of 81.2 in an early-look report released Friday. The index was unchanged from its final January reading. The mid-February reading was affected by deterioration in the gauge measuring perceptions about current conditions, which fell to 94.0 from January's 96.8. That was offset by a pickup in the measure of six-month expectations, which rose to 73.0 from 71.2 previously.

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Consumer Sentiment Index Dips in January

The Surveys of Consumers' Index of Consumer Sentiment, released jointly by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center, dropped to 81.2 this month from December's 82.5. The monthly decline stands in contrast to the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which rose for the second straight month in the group's most recent report. The measure of sentiment about current conditions fell slightly to 96.8, while the expectations index was down to 71.2.

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Consumer Confidence Continues to Improve

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased again in January, continuing December's rebound from months of declines. According to the group, the index rose 3.2 points to a reading of 80.7 in January. December's original reading was revised down from the originally reported 78.1 to 77.5. January's increase puts the index just above the 80.2 reading reported before the government shutdown in October. "All in all, confidence appears to be back on track," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

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Stats Indicate Strong Prices, Steady Demand Going into 2014

Despite the numerous challenges that sprang up throughout 2013, the housing market still managed to finish the year in a healthier position than in 2012, according to the latest figures from Realtor.com. The site's statistics for December indicate the median national list price ended 2013 at $194,500, up 8.1 percent compared to the end of 2012. Relative to November, however, prices were down 1.6 percent--marking the late arrival of the "usual seasonal winter slow down," Realtor.com says.

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Interest Rates Rise to Open New Year

Mortgage rates began 2014 with a round of increases, kicking off a trend many experts believe will continue through the rest of the year. Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending January 2, up from the last week of 2013, when it averaged 4.48 percent. Meanwhile, Bankrate.com reported the 30-year fixed at 4.69 percent, a gain of 6 basis points.

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