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US Existing Homes Sales Increase

James Boston
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As the Symposium of global Central Bank officials continues in Jackson Hole, the main market event for the US this week will be the speech on Friday by Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, addressing the changing structure of the US post crises labour market. In advance of this there is has been a broad series of mid level economic data released to keep markets occupied.

The National Association of Realtors has just published the July update to it’s Existing Home Sales survey, this is showing that 5.15M homes changed hands during the month compared to 5.04M transactions in June, market consensus was for a slowing to approximately 5.01M sales. Percentage wise this number represents an increase of 2.4% on the month in comparison to the previous month’s rise of 2.6%, the estimate was for a contraction of -0.4%.

On the industrial front Markit Economics released August’s preliminary Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the Manufacturing sector. This is now reading at 58.0 in comparison to the 55.8 recorded in July, a slight pull back to 55.7 was anticipated by analysts. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia also release it’s Manufacturing Survey, relating to the month of July this index is currently reading at 28.0, by comparison June’s recording was 23.9 and the market consensus estimate was for a 20.3 reading.

A more broader measure of overall economic activity has been published by the Conference Board in the form of it’s Leading Indicator. This important metric is showing a change of 0.9% from June to July, this is in comparison to the previous month’s increase of 0.3%, there was an anticipated change of 0.6% prior to publication.
Finally, onto employment and the Initial Jobless Claims figures for the week to 15th August are showing at 298k, this is in comparison to the prior week’s 311k and a consensus of 300k.

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