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MARKET TRENDS: First Quarter Advance GDP Estimate Lower Than Expected
Posted on 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[...]

MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Housing Starts Tumble by 8.8% in March
Posted on 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[...]

MARKET TRENDS: New Home Sales Increased by 2% in February
Posted on 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.[...]

MARKET TRENDS: As Global Economy Falters, Fed Slows Plan to Hike Interest Rates
Posted on 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[...]

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

Market Trends: New Home Sales Register Highest Level in Ten Months
Posted on 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 [...]

MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Construction Spending Falls Unexpectedly
Posted on January 20, 2016

While spending on U.S. construction unexpectedly declined in November, mortgage application volume for the week ended January 8, 2016 showed a 21.3% rise (compared to the preceding week on a seasonally adjusted basis). On January 4, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. construction spending in November last year sank 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual [...]

MARKET TRENDS: Pending Home Sales Decline by 0.9% in November
Posted on January 11, 2016

Despite warmer than normal temperatures across much of the nation, contracts to purchase previously owned homes fell in November, signifying that growth in the U.S. housing market could be cooling down. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts (not closings), decreased by 0.9% to a reading [...]

MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline Sharply in November
Posted on January 8, 2016

Existing home sales sank considerably in November to the lowest pace in 19 months, but some of the decrease was due to delayed closings and disruption from a new lending disclosure rule. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that existing home sales fell 10.5% month-over-month in November to a seasonally adjusted annualized [...]

MARKET TRENDS: Watershed Moment: Fed Raises Interest Rates for the First Time in Seven Years
Posted on December 28, 2015

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously voted to set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Policy makers separately forecast an appropriate rate of 1.375 percent at the end of 2016. This[...]