Last week, the National Association of Realtors announced that U.S. existing home sells fell dramatically year-over-year in December and that home-price inflation is slowing down to a seven-year low. Also, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association revealed that American companies are borrowing and leasing slightly less for capital investment purposes than one year ago. Lastly, worldwide credit levels continue to rise to great heights, equivalent to 318% of global output, as of September.
The week ending November 17 revealed Consumer Price Index data that surpassed the Fed’s 12-month 2% inflation target. Also, the Treasury Department says that the Government recorded a $100.5 billion deficit in October 2018, a 60% increase from a year before. Lastly, the New York Federal Reserve reported that U.S. household debt rose to $13.51 trillion, the 17th consecutive quarter of increasing household debt.
Last week, the Census Bureau announced that Americans’ incomes are growing and poverty is shrinking. The Federal Reserve announced that consumer credit grew more than expected in July. Lastly, the Labor Department concluded that job openings increased to a record-high level.
Last week the Department of Labor released its June reading on the Consumer Price Index, and the Federal Reserve released its consumer credit figures for the month of May. Both measures experienced stark upward growth during their respective months and over the twelve months prior.
Highlights of last week’s economic news include jobless claims that remained at 48-year lows, slowing consumer credit growth, and a withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which may result in higher oil prices in the near term.
The general tone of economic data released last week signals increasing confidence among both consumers and businesses.