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- 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 December 15, 2016
The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo surged to 70 during December (16.7% y/y) following unrevised stability at 63 in November. It was the highest level since July 2005. The NAHB figures are seasonally adjusted. During the last ten years, there has been a 72% correlation between the y/y change in the home builders index and the y/y change in housing starts.
The index of present conditions in the housing market firmed 10.1% to 76 (16.9% y/y). The index for the next six months increased 13.0% to 78 (18.2% y/y).
Home builders reported that the traffic index jumped 12.8% to 53 (15.2% y/y), also the highest level since July 2005.
Amongst the regional indexes, the index for the Northeast surged 25.5% (20.4% y/y). The index for West posted a 13.2% increase (14.7% y/y). In the Midwest, the index rose 11.9% (22.2% y/y). For the South, the index rose 7.7% (14.8% y/y).
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||Dec||Nov||Oct||Dec'15||2016||2015||2014|
|Composite Housing Market Index, SA (All Good=100)||70||63||63||60||61||59||52|
|Single-Family Sales: Present||76||69||69||65||67||64||56|
|Single-Family Sales: Next Six Months||78||69||71||66||67||66||61|
|Traffic of Prospective Buyers||53||47||46||48||45||43||39|