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The Economy

September 3, 2014 | Weekly Commentary

Last week was a busy week for economic data showing mixed results.  Real estate was again mixed as new home sales dropped 2.40% in July and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price year over year rose 8.10%.  The growth in home prices is slowing its pace as it came down from 9.30% year over year ending in June.  Pending home sales of existing homes rose 3.30% in July and Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications increased 2.80%.  The Mortgage Bankers Association 30-year rate dropped to 4.28% from 4.29% as rates begin to catch up to the drop in US Treasury Yields.

We received a wonderful headline number for US Durable Goods Orders in July as it jumped 22.30% from June.  Following a closer read, durable goods excluding transportation decreased .80% in July as the numbers were propped up by strong aircraft sales.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence index rose to 92.4 in August from 90.3 in July.  It would seem the consumer confidence reading would set us up for a strong personal spending number in July, however it surprised to the downside decreasing .10%.  Personal incomes rose .20% which is still very subdued and may explain a poor spending number.

The ever important Federal Reserve inflationary index, personal consumption expenditures, rose .10% in July.  Inflation seems subdued and if the geopolitical overhang was not present some would argue energy prices are higher than where they should be if not for Russia, Syria, Gaza, and Iraq conflicts.

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