MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Leading Economic Index falls 0.3 percent in April, but up 0.9 percent over last six months
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. decreased by 0.3 percent in April to 119.2 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent increase in March. The LEI is now up 0.9 percent over the six-month period from October 2021 to April 2022. A range of downside risks—including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and pandemic-related shutdowns, particularly in China—continue to weigh on the outlook. Nevertheless, we project the US economy should resume expanding in Q2 following Q1’s contraction in real GDP.
Despite higher prices and mortgage rates, housing market remains highly competitive
U.S. home values continue to grow at a record pace, up 20.9% in the past year. The combination of rising prices and a spike in mortgage rates means the monthly mortgage payment on a typical home is 52.5% higher than it would have been a year ago. Rising costs have not yet eased competition. Homes are selling as fast as they ever have — after only seven days for the typical home — and nearly half of homes are selling for above their list price.
NAHB provides state-by-state analysis of job growth in April
Year-over-year ending in April, 6.6 million jobs have been recovered, marking the economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic induced recession. All the states and District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned 925,200 jobs in California to 6,700 jobs added in Vermont. In percentage terms, Nevada reported the highest increase by 8.0%, while Kansas increased by 1.7% compared to a year ago.