3/31: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Pre-pandemic pending home sales up 2.4 percent in February and 9.4 percent year-on-year

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) grew 2.4 percent to 111.5 in February, and was up 9.4 percent year-on-year. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.



PCE Price Index up 0.1 percent in February and 1.8 percent year-on-year

Pre-pandemic inflation update: The PCE Price Index rose 0.1 percent in February, but rose to 1.8 percent year-on-year. The ‘core’ index (minus food and energy) rose 0.2 percent in February and 1.8 percent year-on-year. The annual rise has been steadily rising at 1/10 a point per month since November.



February personal income rose faster than spending, leading to boost in savings rate

Pre-pandemic update: In February, personal income increased 0.6 percent, disposable personal income rose 0.5 percent, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 0.2 percent, leading to an increase in the personal savings rate to 8.2 percent.



  1. of Michigan’s March consumer sentiment index drops 11.9 points to 89.1

The consumer sentiment index dropped 11.9 points in March to 89.1, the fourth largest one-month decline in nearly a half century, and the lowest level since October 2016. The extent of additional declines in April will depend on the success in curtailing the spread of the virus and how quickly households receive funds to relieve their financial hardships.



Morning Consult Index of Consumer Sentiment stabilizes after stimulus bill signed

As of Monday morning, the Morning Consult Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) is at 88.27, falling 0.2 percent from the day before. After President Trump signed the stimulus bill on Friday, consumer confidence remained relatively stable over the weekend. On Saturday morning, the ICS was at 88.67, and, on Sunday, it held at 88.44. The U.S. ICS is down 22.27% from January 1, 2020.