2/8: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

CoreLogic:  Home price growth to slow to 3.4 percent in 2019
December 2018 home prices were up 0.1 percent from November and 4.7 percent year-on-year, the slowest annual pace since August 2012.  After rising an average of 5.8 percent in 2018, CoreLogic is forecasting 2019 growth to remain positive, but slow to 3.4 percent.
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November trade deficit declined 11.5 percent from October, but still up 10.4 percent YTD year-on-year
The goods and services deficit was $49.3 billion in November, down $6.4 billion from $55.7 billion in October.  Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $51.9 billion, or 10.4 percent, from the same period in 2017. Exports increased $157.1 billion or 7.3 percent. Imports increased $208.9 billion or 7.9 percent.
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Initial unemployment claims retreat by 19,000 in weekly report
In the week ending February 2, initial unemployment claims retreated by 19,000 from last week’s 1.5-year high to 234,000.   The previous surge was explained by a combination of the federal government shutdown, the California teachers’ strike, and other temporary factors.  The 4-week moving average was 224,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 220,250.
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