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Existing home sales were up +2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 million in August, marking the third consecutive monthly increase and up +10.5% from one year previously. Prices increased for the 102nd straight month, with the median home price gaining +11.4% for the year at $310,600. Single family homes, which comprise nearly 90% of the market, saw prices increase +11.7% to a median price of $315,000, and condominium and co-op prices were up +7.8% for the year to $273,000. Available inventory for sale was down -18.6% over the year to a 3.0 month supply, and the National Association of Realtors cited lack of available inventory as a driver for increased prices.
The IHS Markit Composite PMI index slipped by -0.2 in September to 54.4, reflecting a slowing in he pace of the current expansion, as a drop of -0.4 in Services to 54.6 countered an increase of +0.4 to 53.5 for manufacturing. Survey respondents reported a strong expansion in new orders linked to accelerating new business for service providers, although growth in manufacturers’ new orders for foreign sales eased after a record high in August. Both service and manufacturing sectors reported increases in demand, cost burdens, and selling prices. A spokesman from IHS Markit commented that the third quarter was a solid rebound from the second quarter slump, but noted cooling business optimism as “businesses await clarity with respect to both the path of the pandemic and the election.”
Durable goods new order growth slowed to +0.4% (+$1 billion) in August after a +11.7% increase in July and a +7.7% increase in June. New machinery orders led the increase with a +$0.5 billion gain (+1.5%) to $31.2 billion with additional increases for computers and electronics (+$0.3 billion), “other” durable goods (+$0.27 billion), and primary metals (+$0.22 billion). Transportation equipment orders edged up +0.5%, but fell -4.0% (-$2.6 billion) for motor vehicles and -6.4% (-$0.3 billion) for defense aircraft, while civilian aircraft orders continue to remain in negative territory with a -137.8% drop in orders for the year. Excluding transportation, orders were up +0.4% ( -3.0% Y/Y), and core capital goods, which exclude transportation and defense and serve as a measure of business investment, were up +1.8% (-1.4% Y/Y), slowing from +2.5% growth in July and +4.3% growth in June.
Thursday October 1 – PCE Price Index
Friday October 2 – Employment Situation Report