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MARKET TRENDS: First Quarter Advance GDP Estimate Lower Than Expected

May 13, 2016

In its advance estimate, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at a 0.5% annual rate – the slowest since the first quarter of 2014. Economists had expected the economy to expand at a 0.7% pace after it displayed a 1.4% growth rate in the fourth quarter. The main reasons behind the slowdown in economic growth were reduced levels of consumer spendi...


MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Housing Starts Tumble by 8.8% in March

May 5, 2016

After reaching a five month high in February, U.S. housing starts pulled back by much more than expected in March. This decline, along with a fall in building permits, seems to indicate a cooling in the U.S. housing market. Last month, ground-breaking fell by 8.8% to an annual rate of 1.089 mn. Economists had expected housing starts to dip by 0.9% to 1.167 mn. February's figures were revised up to...


MARKET TRENDS: New Home Sales Increased by 2% in February

April 11, 2016

U.S. new home sales rose slightly in February, but gains were mostly limited to a single region – which may indicate a slowdown in the housing market. In February, home sales increased 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 512,000 units. January's figures were revised upwards to 502,000 units against 494,000 units reported previously. Economists had expected new home sales to rise to 51...


MARKET TRENDS: As Global Economy Falters, Fed Slows Plan to Hike Interest Rates

March 28, 2016

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve halted its plans for raising interest rates due to concerns over weak inflation levels and uncertain global economic health. The world's most powerful central bank left the federal funds rate unchanged between 0.25% – 0.5%, contrary to expectations at the beginning of the year that interest rates would be hiked this month. Policymakers also backtracked...


MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Housing Starts Climb 5.2% to Highest Level in Five Months

March 18, 2016

Home building in the U.S. rose more than expected in February, due to an increase in the construction of single-family homes. In February, housing starts climbed 5.2% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.18 mn, reaching their highest level since September and beating economists' expectations of 1.15 mn. February's pace marked a 30.9% increase over housing starts rate a year ago, when demand...


Market Trends: New Home Sales Register Highest Level in Ten Months

February 8, 2016

In December, new single family homes registered their highest level in ten months – an indication of continued strength in the U.S. housing market. On January 27, the Commerce Department announced that new home sales rose 10.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units. Economists had expected sales to rise to 500,000. December’s figures represent a 10.8% increase over a slightly u...


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