The number of mortgage rate locks for the purchase of vacation homes dove 52 percent in this year’s first quarter compared to 2019 levels, according to data analyzed by USA Today.
Category: TRENDS ON THE U.S. ECONOMIC FRONT – Apr 18 2023
APARTMENT BUILDING SALES SLOWEST SINCE 2009
The slump in commercial real estate has spread to apartment buildings, which were the sector’s top performers in 2021 when rental rates surged with demand as soaring home prices froze more households out of home ownership.
U.S. CORPORATE PROFITS FALLING FASTEST SINCE EARLY 2020
Profits among companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index will report an average 6.8-percent drop in first-quarter earnings compared to the same period last year, data firm FactSet predicted.
CONSUMERS BUY LESS IN MARCH, SHOWING PROOF OF SLOWING ECONOMY
For the second consecutive month, U.S. consumer spending retreated, falling 1 percent in dollar volume in March compared to February, the commerce department reported.
FOOD PRICES FALL FOR FIRST TIME IN ALMOST THREE YEARS
In March, grocery prices fell for the first time since September 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
U.S. CPI FALLS TO 5 PERCENT IN MARCH BUT CORE INFLATION TICKED UP
In March, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) slowed to an annual growth rate of 5 percent, its slowest since May 2021 and a full point below February’s 6-percent pace, the labor department reported.
U.S. INVESTMENT FUNDS SEE GREATER OPPORTUNITIES ABROAD
United States asset managers are increasing their holdings in stock markets abroad, prospecting for havens that minimize the impact of the high interest rates and economic uncertainty plaguing equity prices at home, the Financial Times reported.
THE REASON TO OWN STOCKS INSTEAD OF BONDS IS DISAPPEARING
The “equity risk premium”—the extra profit investors collect for owning stocks instead of bonds—has shrunk to 1.59 percentage points, its smallest since October 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported.
ECONOMIC UPDATE – MARKET OVERVIEW
Where is the U.S. economy headed? Will equities keep going up? Have gold prices hit their highs? Will inflation rise or fall?
FED OFFICIALS: PUSH THOSE INTEREST RATES UP HIGHER AND FOR LONGER
The U.S. Federal Reserve should raise its key interest rate above 5 percent and leave it there until inflation shows clear signs of retreating, Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Bank of Cleveland, said in an 11 April speech at New York University.