Existing Home Sales

May 21, 2020 Existing home sales fell 17.8% in April to 4,330 thousand after having declined 8.5% in March  It is likely that home sales will continue to decline in May. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said that “The economic lock-downs – occurring from mid-March...

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Initial Unemployment Claims

May 21, 2020 Initial unemployment claims for the week of May 16 fell 249 thousand to 2,438 thousand.  Unfortunately, that is still a very large number of people.   In the past 9 weeks 38.6 million Americans have lost their jobs.   Clearly, the measures put into...

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Gasoline Prices

May 20, 2020 Gasoline prices at the retail level rose $0.03 in the week ending May 18 to $1.88 per gallon.  After hitting bottom at $1.77 in the week of April 27, this is the third consecutive weekly increase in gas prices.  In South Carolina gasoline prices tend...

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Housing Starts

May 19, 2020 Housing starts .plunged 30.2% in April to 891 thousand after having fallen 18.6% in March,   Because these data are particularly volatile on a month-to-month basis, it is best to look at a 3-month moving average of starts (which is the series shown...

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Homebuilder Confidence

May 18, 2020 Homebuilder confidence rebounded by 7 points in May to 37 after having plunged by 42 points in April which was the biggest single-month decline in the history of this series.. NAHB Chairman Dean Mon said that, “The fact that most states classified...

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Unemployment vs. Job Openings

May 18, 2020 .The  Labor Department reported that job openings declined 11.6% in March to 6,191 thousand but that is still an elevated level.  The April data should bring with it a much sharper drop in job openings to perhaps the 3,000 mark. As shown in the chart...

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Consumer Sentiment

May 15, 2020 The preliminary estimate of consumer sentiment for May rose 1.9 points to 73.7 after having plunged by 17.3 points in April and 11.9 points in March. The current conditions index rose 8.7 points from 74.3 to 83.0..  The expectations component dropped...

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Industrial Production

May 15, 2020 Industrial production plunged 11.2% in April after having fallen 4.5 in March as the corona virus caused many factories to suspend operations.  That drop was the largest decline in industrial production in the 101-year history of the series. Breaking...

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