- Japan: First Ten Days Trade (Mar), International Trade, Foreign Banks Foreign Banks in Japan (Feb)
- New Zealand: Tourism Expenditure, International Reserves, RBNZ Analytical Accounts/Statistical Balance Sheet, Foreign Currency Assets, Liabilities, and Currency Flows (Feb); Australia: Flow of Funds (Q4), Job Vacancies (Q1)
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Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Tom Moeller January 19, 2016
The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo held steady during January at 60 after falling 7.7% during the prior two months. It matched the level reached last June and has moved in a narrow range since. The figure fell short of expectations for 61 in the Informa Global Markets Survey. The NAHB figures are seasonally adjusted. During the last ten years, there has been an 80% correlation between the y/y change in the home builders index and the y/y change in single-family housing starts.
The index of single-family home sales increased 3.1% (8.1% y/y) to 67 and recovered December's decline. Offsetting this rise, however, was a decline in the index of expected sales during the next six months. It fell 4.5% to 63, but still was 5.0% higher than one year ago.
Home builders reported that their traffic index fell 4.3% to 44. That repeated the prior month's decline and left it at the lowest level in six months.
The housing market index decline reflected an easing throughout most of the country. In the Northeast the index fell 4.1% (+9.3% y/y), down for the third straight month. In the West, the index fell 2.7% (+12.3% y/y) to the lowest level since September. In the South, the index was off 1.6% (+7.1% y/y), repeating its December performance; but in the Midwest the index rose 7.4% (-1.7% y/y), having moved sideways since mid-2014.
The NAHB has compiled the Housing Market Index since 1985. It reflects survey questions asking builders to rate market conditions as "good," "fair," "poor" or "very high" to "very low." The figure is thus a diffusion index with numerical results over 50 indicating a predominance of "good" readings. The weights assigned to the individual index components are .5920 for single-family detached sales, present time, .1358 for single-family detached sales, next six months and .2722 for traffic of prospective buyers. The results are included in Haver's SURVEYS database. The expectations figure is available in Haver's MMSAMER database.
|National Association of Home Builders||Jan||Dec||Nov||Jan'15||2015||2014||2013|
|Composite Housing Market Index, SA (All Good=100)||60||60||62||57||59||52||51|
|Single-Family Sales: Present||67||65||67||62||64||56||55|
|Single-Family Sales: Next Six Months||63||66||69||60||66||61||58|
|Traffic of Prospective Buyers||44||46||48||44||43||39||39|