Research Brief: Housing Outlook – January 2023

Affordability constraints remain the key storyline in 2023. Prospective homebuyers are encountering the compounded effects of a pandemic price run-up and subsequent surge in mortgage rates. Adding to those challenges is a growing concern over a potential economic slowdown or recession. The possibility of stalled career advancement makes taking on sizable long-term debt unappealing. Residents that have been waiting for the opportune moment to buy a home will struggle to find much relief this year. The… Read More

Research Brief: Employment- January 2023

Job growth tapers slightly in December. Across the country, a net 223,000 jobs were created in December, pushing the unemployment rate back down to 3.5 percent. While still above the 2000-2019 average, monthly hiring has been trending down since July of this year. Staff additions last month were most prevalent in the leisure and hospitality sector, as well as in health care and construction. Payroll changes in other industries were modest. While joblessness remains low, the… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – December 2022

Hiring sustains pace in November. Employers brought on a net 263,000 new personnel in November, roughly in line with the prior three-month average. Over 4.3 million jobs have been created year-to-date, which already marks 2022 as the second-best year for employment growth in over two decades, with one month left to go. Hiring was led by sectors still in recovery, with a combined 175,000 new roles at bars, restaurants and hotels, as well as in government… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – December 2022

Consumers reserve discretionary buys for promotional events. Apart from several necessity-based segments, spending declined across most retail categories last month, translating to a 0.6 percent drop in sales. This is significant, considering purchasing was up 12 percent year-over-year on Black Friday, and a record $11.3 billion was spent on Cyber Monday. Higher sales volumes were registered during these promotional events, but the overall decline in monthly retail sales suggests many consumers curtailed their discretionary spending during… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – November 2022

Hiring allows spending to elevate and broaden. Overall retail sales climbed by triple the pace of CPI inflation last month, up 1.3 percent. This indicates that spending improved in real terms. Expectation-exceeding October job creation that pushed the national headcount to 800,000 positions above the pre-pandemic mark partially offset the impacts of higher prices, steeper borrowing costs and other economic concerns. While consumers continued to place an emphasis on necessary items such as food and gas,… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – November 2022

Job creation robust in October. Hiring continued at a strong clip last month with the creation of 261,000 jobs, although the pace is decelerating. Employment growth averaged 562,000 positions per month in 2021 and 457,000 in the first seven months of this year. Since July, that tempo has moderated to 289,000, which is nevertheless about 60 percent above the 2010-2019 mean. Notable October onboarding occurred in professional and technical services, manufacturing and accommodation. The most staff… Read More

Research Brief: Multifamily – October 2022

White House aims for greater housing affordability. Incentivizing the construction of lower-income housing in various forms is the primary goal of the Housing Supply Action Plan, updated this October. In particular, a proposed income averaging provision for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit would make development more feasible in sparsely-populated areas, by no longer requiring all tenants to meet the same income threshold. This change joins a series of other alterations and additions, designed to ease the… Read More

Research Brief: Inflation – October 2022

Distinct trends forming among CPI measures. Descending from a June peak of 9.0 percent, the headline Consumer Price Index rose by a year-over-year rate of 8.2 percent in September. Much of this recent downshift has been driven by declining gasoline prices, a trend that could prove temporary. The war in Ukraine, OPEC production cut-backs and a series of domestic maintenance issues are limiting oil supplies, while the ability to pull from the Strategic Oil Reserve… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – October 2022

Hiring continues, but signs of slowdown emerging. The labor market welcomed 263,000 new jobs in September, above the long-term monthly average, but below the mean pace set so far this year of 420,000 positions. Hiring was heavily concentrated in sectors that are still recovering — most notably leisure and hospitality — and in fields of critical need, such as healthcare. Combined, both sectors added 143,000 staff. Other industries, including financial activities, transportation and warehousing declined.… Read More

Research Brief: Financial Markets – September 2022

Federal Reserve enacts fifth rate hike of the year. Following accelerated core CPI inflation and ongoing above-average hiring last month, the Federal Reserve raised the overnight lending rate 75 basis points at its September meeting. This is the third consecutive rate hike of this magnitude, extending the target range of the federal funds rate above 3 percent. September also marked an increase in the level of Fed balance sheet reductions, to an estimated $95 billion… Read More