10/22: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Leading Economic Index slips 0.1 percent in September

The US Leading Economic Index (LEI) declined 0.1 percent in September to 111.9 because of weaknesses in the manufacturing sector and the interest rate spread which were only partially offset by rising stock prices and a positive contribution from the Leading Credit Index. Looking ahead, the LEI is consistent with an economy that is still growing, albeit more slowly, through the end of the year and into 2020.



Fed’s October Beige Book reports continued economic expansion at slight to modest pace

The U.S. economy expanded at a slight to modest pace since the prior report as business activity varied across the country. Reports from Districts representing states in the southern and western U.S. generally were more upbeat than Districts representing the Midwest and Great Plains. Housing market conditions changed little. Business contacts mostly expect the economic expansion to continue; however, many lowered their outlooks for growth in the coming 6 to 12 months.



Zillow: September for-sale home inventory down 6.4 percent year-on-year, prices up 4.8 percent

For-sale inventory continued to fall in September after a mild recovery earlier this year. There are 102,112 fewer homes on the market in the U.S. than there were last year, a 6.4% year-over-year drop.  The median home in the U.S. is worth $231,000, up 4.8% from this time last year. Accelerating quarterly growth indicates that we may be reaching a turning point after a cool down over the past several months.  Rent growth remains stable, up 2.2% year-over-year to $1,597.