Today’s only significant data point is new home sales for March.
Predictions are for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of between 518,000 and 521,000.
The report will be accessible here at 10:00 a.m.
HERE IT IS: Relatively decent news (but, as seen in the update below, the trend isn’t srong) —
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN MARCH 2016
Sales of new single-family houses in March 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.5 percent (±15.0%)* below the revised February rate of 519,000, but is 5.4 percent (±16.0%)* above the March 2015 estimate of 485,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2016 was $288,000; the average sales price was $356,200.
February’s new figure is a 7K upward revision. January was revised up by 19K from 502K to 521K, while December was written down by 3K to 537K. That’s a net pickup of 23K overall, with +26K affecting first quarter (+19K if you factor in today’s -7K performance against the low end of consensus expectations).
The GDP model crunchers may be able to justify a 0.1 percent upward revision to first-quarter GDP based on today’s data, and certainly no more than that. We’ll be watching what Moody’s does, given that its commentary has been silent since April 14, and that every day since then (six business days in all) has shown a predicted contraction of 0.1 percent.
UPDATE, 3:05 P.M.: Zero Hedge points out that today’s annual-rate figure was the third monthly drop in a row. Additionally, as seen here, the revised 1Q16 total of 1,561K is identical to last year.
Additionally, as seen here, actual, not seasonally adjusted 1Q16 sales of 132K were only slightly higher than the 130K seen in 1Q15. 4Q15 (113K) was 9 percent higher than 4Q14 (104K).
So the trend is one of deceleration for sure, but still with a tiny bit of growth. But the trend, if continued, will start showing year-over-year declines in the second quarter.