Special Report: Debt Ceiling – May 2023

Lessons Learned from Previous Near-Default Debt Ceiling Negotiations Indicate Potential Ramifications of the Holdup Congress and the president have been slow to reach an agreed resolution to the debt ceiling, which was hit earlier this year. The Treasury has been relying on reserve funds to meet expenses, but estimates expect those measures could be exhausted as soon as early June, forcing cost-cutting elsewhere to avoid a default. Even a last-minute agreement can have implications for… Read More

Research Brief: Inflation – May 2023

Inflation descending at a more subdued pace. Annual growth in the headline consumer price index (CPI) slowed to 4.9 percent in April, marking the 10th month in a row that this metric has decelerated since the Federal Reserve began tightening policy in the current cycle. Increases in the cost of borrowing have chipped away at household demand for major purchases, including for homes and new vehicles, which are often financed. The price index for shelter increased… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – May 2023

Consumption tailwinds back demand for available space. Labor market resiliency, wage growth and easing inflationary pressures aided consumers’ spending power in April, supporting a 0.6 percent increase in core retail sales. Households concentrated their spending on essential goods and seasonal items during the month, generating sales growth across the…

Research Brief: Employment – May 2023

Labor market continued to grow in April. Employers created 253,000 positions in April, up from the 165,000 jobs added in March but below the year-to-date monthly average of 285,000. Hiring last month spanned most sectors, ranging from technical health care and professional services roles to hourly restaurant positions. April’s employment growth, paired with a reduction in the labor force, was enough to dip the unemployment rate back down to a historical low of 3.4 percent. Unemployment… Read More

Research Brief: Financial Markets – May 2023

Federal funds rate pushed to 16-year high. On May 3, the Federal Open Market Committee lifted the overnight lending rate to a lower bound of 5.0 percent, a 25-basis-point shift. The FOMC has raised the federal funds rate a combined 75 basis points so far in 2023, just one-sixth of last year’s total shift. Going forward, the path is more open. Chairman Powell stated that the FOMC will take a meeting-by-meeting approach to any further monetary… Read More

Market Research Report: Multifamily – NYC Metro – Q2 2023

Local apartment demand resisting broader headwinds. The New York City multifamily sector entered 2023 on strong footing. Nearly as many apartments were absorbed on a net basis last year as were constructed, which stands in sharp contrast to the national trend of increasing vacancy. Overall, roughly 70,000 more apartments are occupied today in the metro than before the pandemic began, as pent-up demand to form households offset an overall retreat in the local population. Moving… Read More

MMCC Economic Commentary – May 2023

The Fed announced a 0.25% increase in the Federal Funds rate at the FOMC meeting on May 3rd, pushing the Target Rate to 5.00% – 5.25%. The move was widely expected by the market as inflation has been moving in the right direction, hitting 5.0% in March compared to 6.0% in April and down f rom 9.0% at its peak in June 2022. In its announcement, the Fed softened its…

Research Brief: Housing – April 2023

Home sales fall again as interest rates tick back up. After climbing to a five-month high during February, the pace of home sales regressed in March as the latest Federal Reserve rate hike helped push borrowing costs upward. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had settled to 6.3 percent across the opening two months of 2023, prompting more prospective homebuyers to pursue listings. However, the mean borrowing rate ticked back above…

Research Brief: Gross Domestic Product – April 2023

Economy grows in the first quarter, but at slowing pace. Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter of this year. Factors contributing to this growth include gains in consumer spending, exports, and government spending. Last quarter’s improvement to GDP was nevertheless a deceleration from the 2.6 percent annual rate reported for the final three months of 2022. An uptick in imports, along with a slowdown in…

Research Brief: Retail Sales – April 2023

Consumers prioritize food and personal care items. For a second consecutive month, total retail sales dropped; however, a pair of necessity-based categories continued to record gains. In March, health and personal care shops registered a third consecutive month of growth, with sales rising 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, grocery store purchasing increased slightly amid a decline in food at home inflation. The divergence between these two segments’ performance and overall retail spending indicates…