The Independent Market Observer

Economic Release Snapshot: Housing Heats Up

Posted by Sam Millette

This entry was posted on Mar 25, 2024 8:09:45 AM

and tagged In the News

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Monday UpdateEach 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 March 18

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

  • Expected/prior month sentiment: 48/48
  • Actual sentiment: 51

Home builder sentiment improved more than expected in March, as the index hit an eight-month high during the month. This encouraging result brought the index into expansionary territory for the first time this year.

Housing starts and building permits, February (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior month housing starts monthly change: +8.2%/–12.3%
  • Actual housing starts monthly change: +10.7%
  • Expected/prior month building permits monthly change: +0.5%/–0.3%
  • Actual building permits monthly change: +1.9%

Housing starts and building permits improved more than expected in February following sharp declines in January.

FOMC rate decision, March (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior federal funds rate upper limit: 5.50%/5.50%
  • Actual federal funds rate upper limit: 5.50%

The Fed left the federal funds rate unchanged at the conclusion of its March meeting, as expected. Fed chair Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s belief that rate cuts are likely at some point this year in his post-meeting press conference.

Existing home sales, February (Thursday)

  • Expected/prior month existing home sales change: –1.3%/+3.1%
  • Actual existing home sales change: +9.5%

Existing home sales grew more than expected in February. The annualized rate of existing home sales now sits at a one-year high.

Upcoming Reports for the Week of March 25

Durable goods orders, February, preliminary (Tuesday)
Headline and core durable goods orders are expected to rebound in February following declines in January.

Conference Board Consumer Confidence, March (Tuesday)
Consumer confidence is set to rise modestly in March after dropping more than expected in February due to souring consumer views on current economic conditions.

Personal income and personal spending, February (Friday)
Personal income and spending are expected to increase in February. Spending growth has remained impressively resilient over the past two years, and any further improvement in February would be a good sign for consumer spending in the first quarter.

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