Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index saw a 5.6% annual gain from December 2015 to December 2016, as low housing inventory continued to fuel rising home prices. Within the index it showed that Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Denver, Colorado had the largest year-over-year gains. "With all 20 cities seeing prices rise over the last year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural," said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Consumer confidence hit levels not seen since July of 2001 in February as current business and labor market conditions were more favorable this month than in January. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 114.8, above the 111.5 expected and up from the 111.8 recorded in January. The report also stated that consumers expect the economy to continue to expand in the months ahead.
Manufacturing activity in the Chicago area surged to highs not seen since January 2015 and had the largest monthly gain since January 2016. The Chicago PMI jumped 7.1 points in February to 57.4, above the 53 expected and up from 50.3 recorded in January. Any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions. Within the numbers it showed that new orders, production, and prices paid all had gains.
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