Economy

Economic Data Roundup (03/29/2017)

3/29/17 12:00 PM

iStock-92133765.jpgThe only important data on the U.S. economy released this morning was the pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This forward-looking indicator based on contract signings jumped by 5.5 percent to 112.3 in February, the best monthly reading since April 2016 and 2.6 percent higher compared to this same period last year. Regionally, sales rose in the Midwest (+11.4 percent), the South (+4.3 percent), the Northeast (+3.4 percent), and the West (+3.1 percent). Rapid gains in home prices related to supply constraints have weighed on sales for much of the past year, and the post-election spike in mortgage rates only added another headwind for the housing market to deal with. However, the latest reading on the pending home sales index is encouraging, and NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun added that “The stock market's continued rise and steady hiring in most markets is spurring significant interest in buying, as well as the expectation from some households that delaying their home search may mean paying higher interest rates later this year.”

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Sources: Econoday, National Association of Realtors

Post author: Charles Couch