The University of Michigan today (1-14-21) released its preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) for January. The Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to a reading of 68.8 in January down from 70.6 in December — a month-over-month decrease of -2.5% and down -12.9% year-over-year (79.0 in January 2021). The Current Economic Conditions dropped to a reading of 73.2 in January, down from 74.2 in December — a month-over-month decrease of -1.3%, and down -15.6% year-over-year (86.7 in January 2021).
Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported today (1-13-22) that investment in building construction increased 1.2% to $18.0 billion (CAD) in November. Every component, except industrial construction, experienced an increase. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction grew 0.5% to $12.3 billion. Overall, residential construction investment rose 1.5% to $13.1 billion in November.
Redfin, the Seattle-based, technology-powered real estate brokerage firm, reveals in their latest housing market report (1-13-22) that, during the week ending January 9, 2022, the median home sale price increased year-over-year by 16%, reaching an all-time record high of $365,000. According to Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index (HDI), homebuyer activity jumped 9%, while the number of homes for sale fell to a new all-time low within the report’s time frame.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today (1-13-22) that the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand, seasonally adjusted, increased 0.2% in December. The December rise follows a 1% increase in November and 0.6% increases in October, September, and August. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 9.7% percent in 2021 — the largest calendar-year increase since data were first calculated in 2010.
Freddie Mac has released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending January 13, 2022. The PMMS reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.22%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.79%.
The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that an additional 230,000 Americans made their initial filing for unemployment benefits during the week ending on Saturday, January 8, 2022. This is an increase of 23,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 210,750 — an increase of 6,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average.
On Thursday, January 6, 2022, the Department of Commerce (DOC) amended its notice of final results of the 2019 administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order. In the amendment, the DOC stated they had incorrectly calculated J.D. Irving and West Fraser’s CVD rates. The new CVD rates are 3.46% and 5.08%, respectively.
The southern pine beetle, one of the most destructive forest pests in the Southeast U.S., which has already destroyed millions of acres in its native South, has made its way to the State of Maine. The beetle was discovered in Waterboro, Maine last fall, and scientists say the ecosystem of Maine’s pitch pine barrens is now at risk.
Jartek Invest Oy, a leading supplier in Finnish sawmilling technology, has announced that it has just signed a contract to deliver green and dry sorting lines to Segezha Group as part of a large-scale modernization of their JSC Onezhsky LDK wood processing facility in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia. The new lines will make the operation more efficient and help to develop wood processing and improve product quality.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Wednesday (1-12-22) that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5% in December on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. This follows a 0.8% increase in November and a 0.9% increase in October. Over the past 12-months, the all-item index has increased 7.0% before seasonal adjustment — the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982.