Housing Market Index surged in September, Two-Day Fed Meeting this week, Gas Prices rose marginally
September 19, 2016
Monday – September 19
The National Association of Home Builders reported on Monday that its Housing Market Index, a measure of builder confidence, surged in September rising to 65, above the 60 expected and up from the 59 recorded in August. The 65 recorded match an 11-month high. The big jump was due in part to rising household incomes. In addition, with inventories of new and existing home sales tight, builders feel they can build more homes to sell. The index gauges how builders rate present and future market conditions for new home sales.
The big event this week is the two-day Fed meeting that begins on Tuesday and ends Wednesday with the release of the monetary policy statement at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference by Fed Chair Yellen at 2:30 p.m. ET. After a rash of weaker-than-expected economic reports in the past month, low economic growth and subdued inflation, there is a slim 12% chance of hike to the Fed Funds Rate.
Gas prices at the pumps rose marginally in the latest week hitting $2.21 for the national average. The $2.21 is $0.03 more than last week and $0.08 more expensive than a month ago. Last year this time the price was $2.30. Gas prices tend to move lower after the summer driving season months with fewer motorists on the road. In addition, the changeover from summer- and winter-blend gasoline is cheaper to produce, thus leading to lower prices.