11/17: METROINTELLIGENCE ECONOMIC UPDATE P.DUFFY

November builder confidence rose two points to 70, second-highest level since mid-2005

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose two points to a level of 70 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This was the highest report since March, and the second highest on record since July 2005.

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Industrial production up 0.9 percent in October and 2.9 percent year-on-year

Industrial production rose 0.9 percent in October, and manufacturing increased 1.3 percent. Total industrial production has risen 2.9 percent over the past 12 months; output in October was 106.1 percent of its 2012 average. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.0 percent, a rate that is 2.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2016) average.

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Axiometrics:  October’s 2.1 percent apartment rent growth flat from September as occupancy dipped to 94.7 percent

October’s 2.1% annual effective rent growth was essentially the same as September’s rate, but was 44 bps lower than the 2.6% of October 2016. The national occupancy rate declined by 16 bps to 94.7% in October, the lowest it has been since March, but that’s nothing new in the post-recession period. Occupancy has declined from 13-24 bps from September to October in each of the past eight years.

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Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index:  Economic optimism rising to 3-month high in weekly survey

Optimism about the direction of the U.S. economy improved to a three-month high in November as sentiment remained supported by a robust job market and steady growth, with the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rising to 52.1.

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Mortgage applications up 3.1 percent in latest survey as rates remain flat

The Market Composite Index increased 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 0.4 percent and refinances rising 6.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 4.18 percent.

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Initial unemployment claims rise by 10,000 in latest report

In the week ending November 11, initial unemployment claims were 249,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 239,000. The 4-week moving average was 237,750, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 231,250.

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