StatsCan reported today that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in March, following a 0.9% expansion in February. Broad-based increases across most sectors were led by client-facing industries. Both services-producing (+0.6%) and goods-producing (+0.9%) industries were up, as 14 of 20 industrial sectors expanded in March.
On Tuesday, S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller released its U.S. National Home Price NSA Index for March. The Index, which covers all nine U.S. Census divisions, reported that home prices experienced a 20.6% annual gain in March. The increase follows a 20.9% annual gain in February and a 19.1% annual gain in January.
The Conference Board released today (5-31-22) their Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for May 2022. The CCI declined slightly in May, following an upward revision in April’s initial report. The Index now stands at 106.4 (1985=100), down from 108.6 in April. The Present Situation Index dropped from 152.9 in April to 149.6 in May.
On Tuesday (5-31-22), the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reported that the 2022 wildfire season remains well ahead of both 2021 and its 10-year average. Currently, more than 5,300 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to incidents across the country. Year to date through March 31, 27,409 wildfires had been reported, and they had burned 1,889,439 acres.
Canfor Corporation on Thursday (5-26-22) announced the continuation of reduced operating schedules at its Western Canadian sawmills due to the ongoing global supply chain challenges. Canfor has been operating at approximately 80% of production capacity since late March of 2022.
On Tuesday, a lawsuit to stop the importation and sale of substandard structural plywood from Brazil ended with Federal Judge Roy Altman issuing a permanent injunction barring a long-time certifier from operations in Brazil. The injunction requires the revocation of all PS 1 certificates issued by PFS-TECO to over a dozen Brazilian mills producing structural plywood for the U.S.
During the four-week period ending on May 22, nearly one out of every five (19.1%) home sellers reduced their price, the highest level since October of 2019. Measures of competition—including the typical listing’s time on market, the share of homes pending sale within one week, and the share of homes sold above list price—have all plateaued.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Friday that according to their estimates, personal income increased $89.3 billion, or 0.4%, in April. Disposable personal income increased $48.3 billion, or 0.3%, in April. Personal consumption expenditures increased $152.3 billion, or 0.9%, in April.
The University of Michigan today (Friday 5-27-22) released its final Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) for May. The Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to a reading of 58.4, down from April’s reading of 65.2. This is a month-over-month decrease of -10.4% and down -29.6% year-over-year (82.9 in May 2021).
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completion by Purpose and Design for Q1 of 2022 reveals that the median single-family square foot floor plan is now down to 2,310 sq. ft., while the average (mean) square footage for a new single-family home decreased to 2,512 sq. ft.