Cyber Monday, Manufacturing, Pending Home Sales

November 30, 2015

Monday – November 30

Americans flocked to the malls this past weekend and online to purchase gifts as the holiday shopping season unofficially kicked off with Black Friday. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that more than 151 million people said they shopped in stores and/or online during the long weekend. The NRF went on to say that more than 121 million people will purchase items online today, which is known as Cyber Monday, a 5% decrease from last year’s 126 million.

The manufacturing sector continues to be a drag on the U.S. economy as evidenced by the recent weak numbers from the New York State region and today’s report from the Chicago area. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of business activity, fell to 48.7, below the 55 expected and down from the 56.2 recorded in October. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, above 50, expansion.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports that Pending Home Sales in October increased 0.2%, below the 0.7% expected following two months of declines. The index is up nearly 4% from a year ago and has produced annual gains for 14 straight months. Pending Home Sales measures signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says pending sales have plateaued this fall as buyers struggle to overcome a scant number of available homes for sale and prices that are rising too fast in some markets.