The Economic Insights Channel

Existing-Home Sales: April Headline Number Down 2.3% Month-over-Month

This morning's release of the April Existing-Home Sales declined from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units. The March count was downwardly revised from 5.71 million to 5.70 million. The consensus was for 5.65 million. The latest number represents a 2.3% decrease from the previous month and a 1.6% increase year-over-year.

Jack Bogle on the Limits of the Fiduciary Rule and the Future of the Advisory Industry

Speaking two weeks after his 88th birthday, Jack Bogle called the fiduciary rule “silly” and said that financial advisors’ fees are heading lower. Indeed, he said, advisors are destined to charge hourly or retainer fees, like lawyers and accountants.

FHFA House Price Index: The Rise Continues

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for the Q1 and the most recent month. U.S. house prices were up 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 6.3% (nonseasonally adjusted). On a quarterly basis, the index is up 6% year-over-year Q1 to Q1.

Reflections on Trade: Part IV

This is the final report of our four-part series on trade. This week, our discussion on trade continues with a look at the relationship between trade, employment and inflation. We also conclude the series with market ramifications.

April Real Median Household Income Shows Encouraging Growth

The Sentier Research median household income data for April, released this morning, came in at $59,361. The nominal median rose $688 month-over-month and is up $2,176 year-over-year. In percentages, the latest month is up 1.2% MoM and up 3.8% YoY. Adjusted for inflation, the latest month is up $590 MoM and $920 YoY. The real numbers equate to changes of 1.0% MoM and 1.6% YoY.


Expectations for U.S. growth continue to slow as distractions in Washington D.C. take away from the aggressive legislative agenda.

Jeremy Siegel versus Robert Shiller on Equity Valuations

Should you reduce allocations to U.S. equities given the conventional wisdom that prices are “rich” and “due for a correction”? Jeremy Siegel says no; investors should expect 5% real returns from stocks over the long term. But Robert Shiller thinks that number should be much lower.

Spryng into Saving for College

As the cost of a college education continues to rise, parents (and their children) are coming up with creative ways to finance it.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing: May Composite Index Takes a Dive

Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index plunged 19 points to 1from last month's 20. had forecast 15. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 14.3, indicates expansion.

April New Home Sales Come in Below Expectations

This morning's release of the April New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 569K, down 8.4% month-over-month from a revised 642K in March. Seasonally adjusted estimates for December and January were also revised. The forecast was for 610K. Today's release included monthly revisions back to January 2015.

Understanding Today’s Stagnation

One explanation for today’s stagnation focuses on growing angst about new technologies that could eventually replace many or most of our jobs, fueling massive economic inequality. People may be increasingly reluctant to spend today because they have vague fears about their employability tomorrow.

Brazilian Markets Tumble as Political Turmoil Returns

Brazil’s stocks and currency took a beating as President Temer was implicated in a corruption scandal, endangering the government’s reform agenda and fragile economic recovery.

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular Up 3 Cents, Premium 2 Cents

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular is up three cents and Premium two cents from last week. According to, California has the highest average price for Regular at $3.07 and San Francisco, CA is the most expensive city, averaging $3.25. South Carolina has the cheapest at $2.04. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 48.85, a 4.7% increase from this time last week.

And If You Try Sometimes…

Following the election, stock market participants gained optimism on the view that the new administration would push through a reduction in regulations, sharply boost infrastructure spending, and achieve broad tax reform.

Understanding the CFNAI Components

The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on this morning, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and Income
  • Employment, Unemployment, and Hours
  • Personal Consumption and Housing
  • Sales, Orders, and Inventories