The housing market took center stage this week. The week began with an eye-catching plunge in home builder sentiment. July's NAHB Housing Market Index dropped 12 points to 55, the second largest monthly decline on record behind April 2020's pandemic-induced collapse. There was not a bright spot to be found in the underlying details, with measures of buyer traffic and single-family sales, both present and future, posting substantial declines. For most of the past two years, home builders have been navigating a rising cost environment, namely for building materials, labor and land. However, the straw that breaks the back of builder sentiment now appears to be higher financing costs. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year mortgage was 5.54% during the week ended July 21, a jump from the 3.22% averaged during the first week of 2022.
The downturn in home builder confidence provided an early clue that June's data for new home production would surprise to the downside. Total housing starts declined 2.0% to a 1.559 million-unit pace during June, below consensus estimates for a modest increase following May's sharp contraction. Single-family starts dropped 8.1%, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Single-family starts are now running at a 982,000-unit pace, which is a bit higher than the sluggish pace registered for much of the decade predating the pandemic, but still the slowest since June 2020. The sharp rise in borrowing costs is clearly leading home builders to scale back production plans, with single-family permits recently taking a downward trajectory. Single-family permits dropped 8% in June, the fourth consecutive drop.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Oct 27, 2020
Real GDP jumped a record 33.1% during Q3, beating expectations. A 40.7% surge in consumer spending drove the gain.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jul 13, 2021
We added 850,00 jobs in June, but much of that was State governments school districts in some parts of the Country reopening just in time for summer break.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 04, 2020
U.S. GDP declined at an annualized rate of 4.8% in the first quarter, only a hint of what is to come in the second quarter.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Apr 01, 2020
Net Treasury issuance is set to surge in the coming weeks and months. At present, we look for the federal budget deficit to be $2.4 trillion in FY 2020 and $1.7 trillion in FY 2021.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Oct 18, 2022
Highly anticipated Consumer Price Index report surprised to the upside. Headline CPI rose 0.4% in September, and core CPI increased 0.6%.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jun 26, 2021
Supply chain bottlenecks continue to cause pain-in-the-necks. In spite of all the difficulties, the Economic whizzes in the WF Economics team have upgraded their forecast for full-year 2021 U.S.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Nov 12, 2020
U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent, or $1.3 trillion in Q3, adjusted for inflation.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Dec 21, 2019
President Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House, but removal by the Senate is highly unlikely. The House also passed the USMCA, which should be signed into law in early 2020.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 18, 2022
While small business enthusiasm appears to have stalled, as owners are concerned about their ability to continue to pass on higher costs to consumers, cautious enthusiasm around rookie Jeremy Pena’s start persists.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Feb 28, 2023
Existing home sales declined 0.7% in January, while new home sales leaped 7.2%. Real personal spending shot higher in January, and solid growth in discretionary spending suggests continued consumer resilience.