5/29: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Another 2.12 million apply for unemployment, bringing pandemic-related total to 40.7 million

In the week ending May 23, initial unemployment claims were 2.12 million, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level.  Over the last 10 weeks, a total of 40.7 million claims have been filed.


Pending home sales declined 21.8 percent in April and 33.8 percent year-on-year

The Pending Home Sales Index fell 21.8 percent to 69.0 in April. Year-over-year, contract signings shrank 33.8 percent. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.


Durable goods orders tumbled another 17.2 percent in April

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April decreased 17.2 percent to $170.0 billion. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 16.6 percent March decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 7.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 16.2 percent.


Federal Reserve Beige Book indicates continued uncertainty as economy begins to re-open

Economic activity declined in all Districts – falling sharply in most – reflecting disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many contacts expressed hope that overall activity would pick-up as businesses reopened, the outlook remained highly uncertain and most contacts were pessimistic about the potential pace of recovery.


1Q20 GDP decline changed to 5.0 percent in second estimate

Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2020 according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the advance estimate issued last month, the decline was 4.8 percent.  With the second estimate, a downward revision to private inventory investment was partly offset by upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment.  In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.1 percent.

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