S & P/Case Shiller 20-City Index Rose, Consumers less confident, Chicago PMI Fell

January 31, 2017

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Index rose by 5.3% from November 2015 to November 2016, up from October’s annual increase of 5.1%. Within the index it showed big gains in Seattle, Portland and Denver. A spokesperson for Case-Shiller said that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago. The housing market continues to be a solid sector for the U.S. economy.

Consumers were less confident about the economy in January led by a decline in optimism for business conditions and income prospects. The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index on Tuesday as it fell to 111.8, which was below the 15-year high of 113.3 in December. Despite the income worries, those surveyed felt that jobs are plentiful, while also saying that the “jobs are hard to get” component has decreased.

Business activity in the Chicago area declined in January to the lowest reading in 11 months, just a tick above contraction levels. The Chicago PMI fell to 50.3 this month, below the 55 expected and down from the 53.9 recorded in December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, below 50, contraction. Within the report it showed that three of the five components declined. In addition, respondents felt that interest hikes in 2017 won’t have much of an impact on business.