Home Prices, Manufacturing Slows, US Job Market

October 27, 2015

Tuesday – October 27

Home prices across the nation rose in August signaling there is some momentum in the sector headed into year-end. The Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose by 5.1% year-over-year in August, just above the 5.0% expected. From July to August, there was an increase of 0.1%. For the entire nation, prices rose 4.7% in the 12 months ended in August. Case-Shiller offers a delayed picture of how the housing market is faring.

Consumer orders for products meant to last at least three years fell this month as the slowdown in the manufacturing sector continues. A strong dollar and cuts in the energy sector are two key factors in the decline. The Commerce Department reported that September Durable Orders fell 1.2% versus the -1.3% expected, which follows a 3% decline in August. The decline in September was fueled by a drop in commercial aircraft, which fell nearly 36% in September.

Consumers weren’t that upbeat on the job market in a survey conducted by the Conference Board this month. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 97.6 in October, down from the 102.6 recorded in September and below the 102.5 expected. The move lower was due in part to the recent weakness in the U.S. jobs market after averaging just 139,000 jobs created in August and September, after averaging 200,000 monthly this year. “Consumers still rate current conditions favorably, but they do not anticipate the economy strengthening much in the near-term,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.