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New Stock Rover Video – Introduction to the Table – Part 2
Existing home sales  grew +2.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.42 million, raising yearly sales +0.6% higher than July 2018 for the first positive yearly sales gain since February 2018. Over the year, home prices gained +4.3% with the median price rising to $280,800, but the supply of existing homes for sale fell to 1.89 million units (-1.6%), or a 4.2 month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 4.4 month supply in June. New home sales  dropped -12.8% to a 635,000 SAAR after an upward revision brought June’s sales to a 728,000 SAAR, with yearly sales up +4.3% and the median sales price up by 2.2% for the month to $312,800, but down -4.5% from a year previously.
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes of their July 30-31 meeting  in which they voted 7-2 to lower the federal funds rate by -0.25%. Those voting against lowering the rate cited reasons that included the outlook over the medium term, strong employment, and inflation that seemed likely to rise to the FOMC’s 2% target. Most participants saw the rate drop as a “mid-cycle adjustment” based on the changing economic outlook over recent months, and highlighted the need to remain flexible. Participants viewed the most likely outcome to be a sustained expansion of economic activity but cited continuing downside risks which included trade tensions, a global economic slowdown, and the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.
The IHS Markit Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index  (PMI) Composite score signalled slowing private sector business growth as it dropped to a 3 month low of 50.9 (-0.7) in August, with the Manufacturing component slipping -0.1 to a 10-year low of 49.9 and Services dropping -1.3 to a 3-month low of 50.9. The survey found a slowdown in new business growth with respondents indicating reasons including subdued corporate spending and concerns about global economic outlook. The job creation rate slowed to its weakest since February 2010 and confidence in the year-ahead business outlook dropped for the seventh month to its lowest reading since July 2012. In their comments on the survey, IHS Markit noted that “The continued slide in corporate growth projections suggests that firms may exert greater caution in relation to spending, investment and staff hiring during the coming months.”
Upcoming Economic Reports:
Thursday August 29 – 2019 Q2 GDP, Second Estimate
Friday August 30 – Personal Income and Outlays