With today's release of the November S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.9% month over month. The seasonally adjusted year-over-year change has hovered between 4.4% and 5.4% for the last twenty-four months. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (not seasonally adjusted) reached another new high.
The BEA's Personal Consumption Expenditures Chain-type Price Index for December, released yesterday, shows that core inflation remains below the Federal Reserve's 2% long-term target at 1.70%. The most recent Core Consumer Price Index release, also data through December, is higher at 2.20%. The Fed is on record as using Core PCE data for its primary inflation gauge. Headline inflation for both series is conspicuously lower, largely a result of low energy costs.
The latest Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, or the Chicago Business Barometer, fell again in January to a value of 50.3 from last month's downwardly revised 53.9. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.
The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through January 19. The headline number of 111.8 was a decrease from the final reading of 113.3 for December, a downward revision from 113.7. Today's number was below the Investing.com consensus of 113.0.
The Federal Reserve System consists of twelve Federal Reserve Banks, twenty five branches, and the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. Each bank serves a larger regional district. Five out of the twelve Federal Reserve Regional Districts currently publish monthly data on regional manufacturing: Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Richmond, and Philadelphia. The average of the five for January is 10.84, up from last month's 5.93 and in positive territory for the third consecutive month.
This morning the Dallas Fed released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) for January. The latest general business activity index increased 4 points, coming in at 22.1, up from 17.7 in December. Annual seasonal revisions were made to historical data.
Today the National Association of Realtors released the December data for their Pending Home Sales Index. According to the National Association of Realtors®, "Pending home sales picked up in December as solid increases in the South and West offset weakening activity in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the National Association of Realtors®."
Here is an advance preview of the monthly moving averages we track after the close of the last business day of the month. At this point, before the close on the last day of the month, all three S&P 500 strategies are signaling "invested" — unchanged from last month's triple "invested" signal. Three of the five Ivy Portfolio ETFs — Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), , PowerShares DB (DBC), and Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) — are signaling "invested", unchanged from the signal last month.
The BEA's Personal Income and Outlays report for December was published this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The latest Headline PCE price index rose 0.16% month-over-month (MoM) and is up 1.62% year-over-year (YoY). The latest Core PCE index (less Food and Energy) came in at 0.11% MoM and 1.70% YoY. Core PCE remains below the Fed's 2% target rate.
The Advance Estimate for Q4 GDP came in at 1.87%, down from 3.52% in the Third Estimate of Q3 GDP. With a per-capita adjustment, the headline number is lower at 1.03%. The adjacent chart includes an exponential regression through the data using the Excel GROWTH function to give us a sense of the historical trend. The regression illustrates the fact that the trend since the Great Recession has a visibly lower slope than the long-term trend.