The Fed may be worried about the immediate future of the American economy but that concern was not evident in today's economic statistics.
Existing home sales, leading economic indicators and the Philadelphia Fed business outlook all bettered forecasts with home sales reaching a six and half year high in August.
Purchases rose 1.7 percent to a 5.48 million annualized pace, the fastest since February 2007 according to the National Association of Realtors. Economist had predicted a 2.6 percent fall from July’s 5.39 million to 5.25 million.
The index of leading economic indicators from the Conference Board scored 0.7 percent in August, exceeding the 0.6 percent prediction. The July reading was revised 0.1 percent lower to 0.5 percent.
The September Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Index more than doubled to 22.3 from 9.3 in August, well ahead of the 10.3 median forecast in the Bloomberg survey of economists.
The surge in home sales may reflect customers who were trying to take advantage of low mortgage rates in June after rates had begun moving up from 3.40 percent in early May. Most home purchases close within two months of the initial contract signing. Existing home sales tracks closings each month.
The median price of a home fell slightly in September to $212,100 from $212,400 the prior month but the price over the previous September gained 14.7 percent, the biggest yearly rise since October 2005. The number of homes for sale rose marginally to 2.25 million from 2.24 million. This supply would last for 4.9 month at the current selling pace, down from 5.0 months in July. The low was 4.3 months in January.
Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region surged in September with all categories improving, many substantially. New orders rose to 21.30 from 5.30; shipments climbed to 21.20 from -0.90; unfilled orders improved to 4.30 from -2.90 and the number of employees jumped to 10.30 from 3.50 in August.
Chief Market Strategist