Economic News: It Could Be Worse

Here’s a bit of economic news for you to digest while you wait for news of our salvation from London.

The ISM reported that their March reading came in at 36.3, still in a contraction mode. But new orders rose to 41.2 from 33.1 in February. A reading of 50 indicates stability so we are at least moving back in that direction.

Construction spending fell at a slower pace. It was down 0.9% after it fell 3.5% in January. Got to be careful reading too much into this as weather and other factors can have an outsized impact.

ADP revised their estimate of March job losses to 706,000. I don’t usually pay much attention to this number. The Labor Department’s numbers will be out on Friday. They will probably show worse than forecast job losses.

The Nationa Association of Realtors said pending sales of existing homes was up 2.1% from an index of 80.4 in January to 82.1 in February. This stat measures signed contracts. The NAR is also trumpeting the rise in the affordability index. Don’t pay much attention to this number. It’s essentially being driven by low interest rates. As a guage of a potential bottom in housing prices it doesn’t mean much.

At the risk of repeating myself, things do appear to be getting less bad. There may be some light at the far, far end of this tunnell.

more: here, here and here

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