Archive for January, 2012

Home Price Indices Down 1.3% in November 2011

January 31, 2012

The 10-city composite and 20-city composite S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices dropped 1.3% this month to 151.90 and 138.49, respectively. These are the lowest composite index values reported since April 2011. The 10-city index is down 3.6% from last November while the 20-city index decreased 3.7%.

Phoenix was the only market that increased in November, rising .6% to 101.12. The Chicago market declined the most, plummeting 3.4% to 112.46. In addition, Atlanta fell 2.5% to 88.93, Detroit decreased 2.4% to 70.66, and San Francisco declined 1.9% to 129.78.

For more information, see our Home Price Index Report.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

Disposable Personal Income Increases $47 Billion in December 2011

January 30, 2012

Disposable personal income increased $47 billion dollars to $11.6 trillion dollars in December 2011. This increase comes after a $4 billion dollar decrease in November. Disposable income has been above pre-recession levels since February 2011, but was plateauing until this large one-month increase. Real disposable personal income increased $34.2 billion to $10.16 trillion. This is also a substantial increase over November, but just below the recent real high of $10.17 trillion reached in June 2011. Hopefully, this signifies a continued increase after nearly a year of near-flat disposable income increases.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

4th Quarter 2011 GDP Increased 2.8% at Annualized Rate

January 27, 2012

4th quarter 2011 real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.8%. This comes from an increase in private investments and a decrease in federal, state, and local spending along with an increased trade deficit. In other words, private spending is up, government spending is down, and imports are up. Real GDP increased $90.8 billion to $13.4 trillion and nominal GDP increased $118.2 billion to  $15.3 trillion. For more information, see our GDP Report.

–From the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Economic Analysis

Interest On Required Balances and Excess Reserves Stands At 0.25%

January 25, 2012

According to data released today, the interest on required balances and excess reserves stands at 0.25% as of January 16th, 2012.

The rate has remained constant since December of 2008 , taking a steep fall from 1% in November 2008.

-From the St.Louis Federal Reserve.

Prime Bank Loan Rate At 3.25%

January 23, 2012

As per data released today, the Prime Bank Loan Rate stood at 3.25%. This rate is charged by banks from their most credit worthy customers. The Prime Bank Loan Rate has remained at 3.25% since January 2009. Interest rates are currently at very low levels over the last two decades, perhaps in an effort to encourage borrowing and business activity.

-Reported from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

December Housing Starts Declined 28,000 to 657,000 (Down 4%)

January 19, 2012

December housing starts stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000. This is a decline of 28,000, or 4%, compared to November 2011, but an increase of 25% compared to December 2010.

Although this month’s figure may initially look troubling, December is consitently a slow month for housing starts. Since 2000, December housing starts increased only three times: in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Excluding those positive three years, December housing starts decline an average of 5% each year with a median of 4%. The highest December decline was 14% in 2008; the lowest 1.2% in 2009. Thus, this December’s decline is below the average since 2000.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

US Trade Deficit Increased 10% in November 2011

January 13, 2012

The November 2011 US trade deficit increased $4.5 billion, or 10%, to $47.8 billion. Strongly influencing this figure were large shifts in the trade balances of China and Canada. Imports from China are down $1 billion while exports to China increased $200 million to $9.9 billion. Imports from Canada decreased $506 million to $26.3 billion and exports decreased $1.3 billion, or 5.1%, to $23.3 billion. An increased trade deficit negatively impacts GDP, so 4th quarter 2011 GDP figures, due at the end of this month, will likely be impacted by this large increase.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

US Job Openings Decreased 2% in November

January 11, 2012

According to the recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, job openings decreased 63,000, or 2%, to 3.1 million in November. Hires increased 107,000, or 3%, to 4.1 million. Separations increased 97,000, or 2%, to 4 million. Most sector job openings stayed near October levels, however a few industries saw severe November changes. Information job openings decreased 29% to 82,000 and openings in business and professional services dropped 10% to 517,000. The biggest gains were in accommodation and food services, where job openings increased 7% to 351,000. For more information, see our JOLTS report.

-From the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the St. Louis Federal Reserve

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.5%

January 7, 2012

The US unemployment rate dropped .2% in December to 8.5%. Total nonfarm payroll increased 200,000 and both the civilian employment population ratio and the civilian labor force participation rate held steady. Since the percentages held steady, this implies that more people found work this past month. The median duration of unemployment dropped .5 weeks led largely by the decrease of 92,000 people unemployed more than six months. For more information, see our Employment Report.

-From the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the St. Louis Federal Reserve

US Economy Gained 325,000 Jobs in December

January 5, 2012

The economy gained 325,000 jobs in December leading to a total payroll of 109.6 million, according to ADP. Though this is a small gain, this month’s employment figure is up 1.8% from December 2010. February 2009 was the last time employment was this high, indicating that we’re still climbing out of the trough created by the recession. We’re still down 5 million jobs from the pre-recession employment peak reached in January 2008. Stay tuned this week as the BLS releases its employment report on Friday.

–From ADP and the St. Louis Federal Reserve