Home sales recovered for the third month in a row in December but plunged in 2022 after high mortgage rates and record home prices lowered affordability for many first-time home buyers.

The U.S. economic expansion slowed in the final quarter but resilient consumer spending and business investments delivered stronger than expected growth.

Durable goods orders soared in December after volatile transportation and defense orders rose. Manufactured durable goods shipment increased in December, up nineteen of the last twenty months.

Despite the drumbeat of layoffs from large tech companies, overall jobs market conditions remain tight. Jobless claims dropped to the lowest level in nine months.

Housing starts and completions are negatively impacted by the rising mortgage rates and record home prices. Residential construction permits and starts declined but completions rose from a year ago in December.

Retail sales unadjusted for price inflation declined in December from November but rose from a year ago. The three-month sales to December reflected tight household budgets.

Wholesale price inflation slowed in December driven by a sharp decline in crude oil and gasoline prices. Core wholesale inflation stayed elevated.

Headline consumer inflation declined for the sixth month in a row after energy prices declined in five of the last six months. Elevated housing prices continued to fuel overall inflation.

Non-farm payrolls expanded at the slowest pace in two years and wage gains dropped to the level last seen in August 2021.

Natural gas inventories in the week ending December 30 fell after utilities pulled more gas on colder-than-usual temperatures.

International goods deficit in November declined to $84 billion and the services surplus rose to $22.5 billion from the previous month. The monthly trade deficit in goods and services was the smallest since September 2022.

Policy committee members supported rate hikes to continue until they are restrictive enough and evidence of sustained downtrend in inflation emerges.

Mortgage applications declined to a 26-year low towards the end of 2022 after mortgage rates soared and record home prices kept buyers away.

Job Openings Eased In November

Jan 4, 2023
Brian Turner
Job market remained strong in November continuing the yearlong trend of nearly two jobs advertised for every applicant.

Weekly Jobless Claims Advanced

Dec 29, 2022
Brian Turner
Initial jobless claims adjusted for seasonal factors rose in the previous week and continuing claims advanced to the high seen in February.

Pending Home Sales Drop 4% In November

Dec 28, 2022
Brian Turner
Pending home sales declined in November on rising mortgage rates and elevated home prices kept first-time home buyers away.