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  • It's all about the inventories

    The old adage of “what goes up must come down” is perhaps the most appropriate for the housing market’s behavior over the past year. Thanks to the federal homebuyer tax credit expiration last fall then its subsequent extension/expansion in the spring, getting a handle on market conditions...
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  • Taking a Breather

    Today’s release of May retail sales data was greeted with boos as it showed the first outright monthly decline in consumer spending—and a sizable one at that—since last fall. As we’ve preached in earlier posts, interpreting a trend from one month’s worth of data is a mistake...
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  • Don’t Be Fooled!!

    The announcement of a net 431,000 new jobs being created during May certainly gives off the strong impression of a rapidly improving job market. Unfortunately, 411,000 of those jobs came via temporary workers tasked with performing work for the 2010 decennial Census, with the remaining 20,000 jobs added...
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  • Less Bad is Still Not Good

    Despite some recent signs of improvement in the labor market and other macroeconomic indicators, the mortgage foreclosure problem continues to roll along. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that during the first quarter of 2010 mortgage delinquencies increased to account for 10.1 percent...
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  • Job Market Recovery Gaining Some Momentum

    Today’s employment report showed payrolls increased by 290,000 in April. Moreover, March’s preliminary figure was revised upward and now shows a gain of 230K (vs. 162K originally). Hiring of temporary Census workers might have skewed the topline number upward, but growth was solid across...
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  • Good Enough for Show, but not First Place

    Today’s first take on real GDP showed that the U.S. economy expanded 3.2% on an annualized basis during the first three months of 2010. Many of the underlying details suggest that the economy remains on a path to recovery; however, even though the data have reduced the probability of a double-dip...
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  • Housing Market’s Roller-Coaster Ride Continues

    The long-awaited jump in home sales appears to have materialized at long last, for now anyway. After sales collapsed in late 2009 after the expiration of the new homebuyer tax credit, analysts have been waiting to see some kind of pop in the housing market data following the government’s decision...
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  • Finally, some good news on consumers

    While we have no shortage of economic issues to remain concerned about, e.g. foreclosures, debt deleveraging and persistent unemployment just to name a few, solid retail sales data for March at least provide a boost to optimism and may highlight the fact that the economic recovery might indeed be entering...
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  • The buying spree is over…now what?

    With the recent softness in the housing market, the end of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program has fueled concerns that mortgage rates could rise sharply and choke off prospects of a housing market recovery. The program only ended last week and rates climbed...
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  • The Wait Continues

    While there were enough positive things contained in today’s employment report that allow us to remain hopeful about the recovery’s lasting power, some troubling aspects remain. Specifically, the length of time in which workers have been unemployed is a serious concern. During March, unemployment...
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