The Independent Market Observer

Economic Release Snapshot: Consumer Confidence on the Upswing

Posted by Sam Millette

This entry was posted on Dec 26, 2023 10:00:00 AM

and tagged In the News

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eye glasses sitting atop a stack of newspapersEach week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.

Reports for the Week of December 18

National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, December (Monday)

  • Expected/prior month sentiment: 37/34
  • Actual sentiment: 37

Home builder sentiment rose modestly in December, breaking a five-month streak of falling confidence. Despite the improvement during the month, the index sits well below the 2023 high of 56 that we saw in July, indicating continued headwinds for home builders.

Housing starts and building permits, November (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior month housing starts monthly change: –0.9%/+0.2%
  • Actual housing starts monthly change: +14.8%
  • Expected/prior month building permits monthly change: –2.2%/+1.8%
  • Actual building permits monthly change: –2.5%

Housing starts and building permits came in mixed in November, with starts surging past expectations while permits fell by more than expected. These volatile measures of home building activity now sit near pre-pandemic levels, signaling solid levels of construction despite headwinds for the industry.

Existing home sales, November (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior month existing home sales monthly change: –0.3%/–4.1%
  • Actual existing home sales monthly change: +0.8%

Existing home sales surprisingly rose in November after falling to a 13-year low in October. Despite the modest improvement during the month, the pace of existing home sales was down 7.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in November.

Conference Board Consumer Confidence, December (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior month consumer confidence: 104.5/101.0
  • Actual consumer confidence: 110.7

Consumer confidence improved by more than expected in December, with the index hitting a five-month high during the month. The rise was supported by improved consumer views on both the present situation and future expectations.

Personal spending and personal income, November (Friday)

  • Expected/prior personal income monthly change: +0.4%/+0.3%
  • Actual personal income change: +0.4%
  • Expected/prior personal spending monthly change: +0.3%/+0.1%
  • Actual personal spending change: +0.2%

Personal income and spending both grew in November. This now marks eight consecutive months with spending growth, fueled by 22 straight months of rising income.

Reports for the Week of December 25

There are no major data releases scheduled for the holiday-shortened week.

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