Positive economic data ends first quarter
Posted March 30, 2012
The consumer confidence report delivered its highest level in over a year Friday morning, as its index of confidence came in at a reading of 76.2 according to the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters.
The reading was an increase of almost a full point from February’s reading, and indicated that consumers are much more focused on their improving job prospects and incomes rather than the potential commodity price headwinds they may face later in the year.
Speaking of job confidence, North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped significantly in March, decreasing to 10.1 percent from a reading of 10.9 percent in February. This will hopefully be the beginning of a downward trend for North Carolina and the Triangle.
Friday morning we received the February personal income report, which was up 0.2 percent. The February consumer spending report which was up 0.8 percent saw the largest increase in spending since July 2011.
Here’s a nice snapshot of the investment home market. According to the National Association of Realtors, investor purchases were up an incredible 64.5 percent last year, and almost half of those transactions were paid for with cash. Certainly a stunning statistic, and one which speaks to the appetite of investors.
Finally, with all of the positive economic data, treasury yields and mortgage rates were feeling the pressure, and we saw the yield on the 10-Year rise back above 2.20 for the first time in a few trading sessions. Rates were also feeling some upward heat as the trading day ended on Friday.
Have a wonderful weekend!