Thursday, December 18, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/18/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/18/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Building permits fell 5.2 percent in November; about even year-over-yea
  • Housing stats tumbled 1.6 percent in November
  • CPI fell by 0.3 percent in November; up by 1.3 percent over previous 12 months
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey declines in December 
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/16/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/16/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Builder confidence fell one point in December to 57 but still well in positive territory
  • Industrial production rose 1.3 percent in November; June-October pace also revised upwards
  • Producer Price Index down by 0.2 percent in November but up by 1.4 percent over previous year
  • Consumer sentiment rose in December to nearly an eight-year high
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, December 12, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/12/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/12/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • November retail sales showed strongest gain since March
  • Initial unemployment claims dip by 3,000 in latest report
  • Business inventories rose more than expected in October
  • Mortgage applications rise by 7.3 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the December 2014 issue of Builder and Developer magazine is now posted online.

For this issue, entitled "Homebuilding Year in Review," I provided my annual review of the past year and what we can expect in 2015. An excerpt:

Last year, I wrote about a housing rebound that seemed to finally have solid legs after a few false starts since the Great Recession. The good news for 2014 is that both the economy and the housing market have continued their slow yet gradual climb back to normal.

Indeed, the NAHB's Leading Markets Index, which measures how well metropolitan areas are performing relative to their last ‘normal’ market, rose to .90 in the third quarter of 2014. This means that the combination of permits, prices and employment levels are back to 90 percent of where they should be at a national level, although most of this rebound has been due to new permits and rising prices more than robust, uniform employment gains...
To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire December 2014 issue in digital format, click here.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/10/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/10/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Job growth hit 321,000 in November as unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent
  • Consumer borrowing rose less than forecast in October ahead of holiday season
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Job growth soared to 321,000 jobs in November

Today's job growth report was far better than projections, with The Washington Post calling it "the most assertive sign to date that the labor market is returning to pre-recession health:"
November’s numbers cap the best three-month period of labor market expansion since the financial crisis and keep the country on track for a year of job growth unseen since the late 1990s...The unemployment rate kept steady at 5.8 percent, its lowest mark since July 2008..."
From the original press release:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing

In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men rose to 5.4 percent in November. The rates for adult women (5.3 percent), teenagers (17.7 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (11.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 1.2 million...

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 321,000 in November, compared with an average monthly gain of 224,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing..

Construction employment also continued to trend up in November (+20,000). Employment in specialty trade contractors rose by 21,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 213,000 jobs, with just over half the gain among specialty trade contractors...
To read the entire release, click here

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/05/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/05/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Planned job cuts decline 30 percent in November, 2014 on pace for lowest annual total since 1997
  • Initial unemployment claims dip by 17,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage applications fall by 7.3 percent in latest survey, largely due to to Thanksgiving holiday
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/04/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/04/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Private sector jobs grew by 208,000 from October to November
  • Labor productivity grew by 2.3 percent in third quarter of 2014 due to higher output
  • Construction spending rebounds 1.1 percent in October
  • Manufacturing sector economy expanded in November on strong demand and new orders
  • Service sector economy index expanded sharply in November
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/02/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/02/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Overall durable goods orders rose in October but business investment fell
  • Personal income and spending both rose slightly in October
  • Chicago Business Barometer fell sharply in November
  • Mortgage applications fall 4.3 percent in latest survey as rates slide down slightly
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from MetroIntelligence and Housing Chronicles! Think you know everything about Thanksgiving from what you learned long ago in elementary school?  It’s actually a bit more complicated than you might’ve thought.

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.   However, there is also evidence for an earlier harvest celebration on the continent by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virgina Colony.

The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists’ leaders on the anniversary of the settlement. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Gov. Bradford, who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. While initially the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish.   Still, the practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden, The Netherlands, in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.

Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions.Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community.  At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season.

When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest.Though the origins of the holiday in both Canada and the United States are similar, Americans do not typically celebrate the contributions made in Newfoundland, while Canadians do not celebrate the contributions made in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Thanksgiving in the United States, much like in Canada, was observed on various dates throughout history. 

The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century.

And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday), to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.

It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -- this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November.

Source:  Wikipedia