Solid hiring across multiple employment sectors in April did not produce a large gain in U.S. payrolls, but the increase nonetheless reaffirms that the labor market remains in sound condition.
Hiring in September reaffirmed that job creation is moderating from the elevated levels of the past two years. Accelerated wage gains offer some evidence that employers are competing vigorously to fill positions, an action that could intensify inflation pressures in the coming year.
Modest payroll growth last month reaffirms the sound state of the U.S. labor market and raises questions regarding whether the Federal Reserve needs to raise its benchmark interest rate when it meets later this month.
A substantial increase in supply ignited a steep decline in the price of crude oil over the past year. U.S. crude inventory has increased more than 20 percent since year-end 2014 and OPEC members continue to pump at elevated levels in an attempt to weaken U.S. producers. The supply glut and downward price pressure could potentially worsen as Iran ramps up production as sanctions are lifted and the U.S. exhausts storage capacity. These trends have… Read More
The December 2016 rate increase creates mixed signal for investors.
Housing demand remains elevated as low mortgage rates have helped keep the cost of ownership in check despite steady appreciation. The solid pace of hiring over the last six years and modest but consistent wage growth have helped prospective homeowners repair their balance sheets and re-engage the housing market.
Existing single-family home prices marked moderate gains in July, moving back into alignment with the pre-recession peak.
A modest advance in sales activity during the month of May put additional strain on for-sale inventory as the single-family housing market seems to remain caught in a loop that continues to prevent many prospective homebuyers from making a purchase. Sales of existing single-family homes are rising, but the low level of homes available for purchase leaves many would-be buyers unable to transact and is exerting upward pressure on prices.
Single-family home sales were curbed by a February chill, limited inventory, and a boost in the apartment sector.
The increase in sales of previously owned homes and new single-family residences in April illustrates growing demand for owner-occupied housing and the improving ability of prospective homebuyers to save for down payments and handle monthly mortgage obligations. Interest rates on residential mortgages remain near historic lows, maintaining housing affordability and stimulating a higher volume of single-family home purchases even as prices continue to rise and for-sale inventory remains limited.