MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
February economic output index rises sharply to 50.2
The headline Flash US PMI Composite Output Index registered 50.2 in February, up sharply from 46.8 in January. The latest reading was the highest for eight months and signaled broadly unchanged output on the month across the private sector. Service sector firms registered a fractional uptick in business activity while manufacturers reported a slower decrease in output.
January existing home sales slips for 12th consecutive month, sales prices up 1.3 percent year-on-year
Existing-home sales waned in January for the twelfth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million. Sales slipped 0.7% from December 2022 and 36.9% from the previous year. The median existing-home sales price increased 1.3% from one year ago to $359,000. The inventory of unsold existing homes grew from the prior month to 980,000 at the end of January, or the equivalent of 2.9 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.
Purchase loan applications fall sharply as rates rebound
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications decreased 13.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 18 percent (and down 14 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 2 percent (and down 72 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 6.62 percent from 6.39 percent,