Existing Home Sales closed out 2016 best year in decade, Kroger Co announcing hiring, US Manufacturing sector solid start for 2017

January 24, 2017

Existing Home Sales closed out 2016 as the best year in a decade, though December’s numbers were a bit below expectations. December Existing Home Sales declined 2.8% from November to an annual rate of 5.49 million units, which was below the 5.55 million expected. November was revised higher to 5.65 million from 5.61 million. The National Association of REALTORS® reports that sales in 2016 were 5.45 million units, above the 5.25 million in 2015 and the highest since the 6.48 million in 2006.

Retail food chain Kroger Co. announced on Monday that it plans to hire up to 10,000 new permanent employees in 2017, which would be focused at the store level. The announcement follows a series of hiring through the past few years for Kroger; where it added 12,000 new workers in 2016 and a total of 86,000 jobs in the past eight years. The new positions at Kroger will be in part-time clerks, cashiers, department heads and store managers.

The U.S. manufacturing sector got off to a solid start in 2017 as overall operating conditions improved at the fastest pace in almost two years. Improvement was seen from better business conditions, which was fueled by sharper increases in output and new orders. The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 55.1 in January, up from 54.3 in December. Within the report it showed that manufactures reported increased production for the eighth month running in January, while the rate of expansion picked up to its sharpest since March 2015. In addition, the employment component continued to increase.