4/13/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy


Fed Chair Powell declares positive inflection point for economy on “60 Minutes”

What does this mean?  The combination of federal stimulus and Fed action has set up the economy for robust job growth, assuming no sustained rebound of virus cases.

In a TV interview on Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed a much more upbeat assessment of the US economy, saying it’s at an “inflection point” benefiting from vaccinations and fiscal and monetary support. The main risk to the outlook, Powell stressed, is a new spread of the disease.


April CEO Confidence Index gains 3 points to highest level since May 2018

What does this mean?  The broadening success of the vaccine roll-out has CEO confidence returning to pre-Covid levels.

After plateauing in March, CEO confidence in business conditions 12 months from now gained 3 percent in April to reach its highest level since May 2018.  Similarly, their confidence in the current environment jumped 11 percent from March, snapping back to pre-Covid levels.


March inflation tracker PPI rises by largest annual advance since September 2011

What does this mean?  A rapid increase in demand by the re-opening economy has put upward pressure on supplies, but this is expected to be temporary.

The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.0 percent in March, after rising 0.5 percent in February and 1.3 percent in January. The index moved up 4.2 percent for the 12 months ended in March, the largest advance since rising  4.5 percent for the 12 months ended September 2011.


Redfin:  Homes sell at fastest pace on record

What does this mean?  Although the market remains highly competitive, asking prices may be flattening out as interest rates rise.

During the 4-week period ending April 4, the median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $338,225, an all-time high.  46% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, an all-time high and up from 30% during the same period a year earlier.  Asking prices of newly listed homes rose 16% year over year to $351,851, an all-time high, but were flat from the four-week period ending March 28