MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Initial unemployment claims rise 11,000 to 351,000
In the week ending September 25, initial unemployment claims were 362,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 351,000. Continued claims during the week ending September 18 was 2,802,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending September 11 was 5,027,581, a decrease of 6,222,725 from the previous week.
Consumer confidence index slips another 5.9 points in September as Delta variant spreads
Consumer confidence dropped in September as the spread of the Delta variant continued to dampen optimism. Concerns about the state of the economy and short-term growth prospects deepened, while spending intentions for homes, autos, and major appliances all retreated again. Consumer confidence is still high by historical levels—enough to support further growth in the near-term—but the Index has now fallen 19.6 points from the recent peak of 128.9 reached in June.
Despite seasonal sales slowdown, asking home prices continued to rise in September
Asking prices of homes listed for sale increased to an all-time high during the four-week period ending September 26. Pending sales were up just 4%, the smallest year-over-year increase since June of 2020. Other housing market measures continued to show a typical seasonal cooling, with fewer than half of homes selling above list price and new listings of homes for sale down 20% from their 2021 peak.