The Monday Morning Quarterback
A quick analysis of important economic data released over the last week
By Elliot D. Pollack & Co. | Rose Law Group Reporter
Nationally, it is the labor market garnering most of the attention. While the data is up and down, we are continuing to trend in the right direction, with the Labor Department last Friday reporting U.S. companies hired the most workers in 10 months in June. Also in the positive, the services sector had its 13th consecutive month of expansion and consumer credit increased by over $35 billion month over month. An expansion that size has not been seen since December 2010.
Here locally, it is the hot housing market matching the weather we’ve been having. Sales volume in Greater Phoenix was up nearly 6% from last month and over 19% from last year, driven largely by resales. Greater Tucson sales volume was also up month-over-month and year-over-year. Median prices continued to climb as well. Greater Phoenix prices are up 1.9% from a month ago and 24.2% from a year ago. In Greater Tucson, sales prices experienced a similar monthly gain and represented a 28.2% increase over last year.
- Initial claims rose by 2,000 which brought the number of claims to 373,000 for the week ending July 3rd. The 4-week moving average continued to decline, but the pace has slowed in the last month. The 4-week average came in at 394,500 claims, down from 394,750 a week ago and 402,750 a month ago.
- ISM’s Services PMI declined to 60.1% in June from 64% in May. June’s level signals growth in the sector for 13-consecutive months now. Despite the decline in the index, the level remains well above the 50% threshold that signals economic growth in the sector.
- Job openings increased 0.2% in May and reached a new record high of 9.2 million. The number of hires fell 1.4% to 5.9 million. The amount of people that quit their jobs fell to 3.6 million and are the majority of the 5.3 million separations.
- Consumer credit had its biggest expansion in May since December 2010, with a $35.3 billion increase in May. The majority of the increase ($26.1 billion) came from non-revolving credit (mortgages and auto loans) and revolving credit (credit cards) rose $9.2 billion.
- Home prices across Maricopa County continue to rise, according to the Information Market’s June data. Both the median resale and new home sales prices increased for the month. The median resale prices increased 1.8% over last month to $400,000 and median new home prices grew $15,500 (4%) to $407,047. New home prices being lower than resale appears to be a one-month anomaly in Maricopa County. We will continue to monitor the data.
- The trend in Greater Tucson’s single-family real estate market continued in June, according to latest data from the Tucson Association of Realtors. Total listings were stable and only dropped 0.7%, remaining above 900 listings for the month. The number of sales increased 9% for the month and 2.5% for the year. But prices continue to rise. June saw an increase of 4% from a month ago and 31.5% from a year ago reaching $342,000.