Unemployment claims, leading indicators provide good news
Posted March 22, 2012 6:16 p.m. EDT
Unemployment claims dropped again this week, hitting a new four-year low. Claims dropped 5,000 to 348,000. This is continued good news for those who have had issues in the employment market, but we’re still some distance from returning to what many consider a healthy employment level in the United States.
In other positive economic news, the leading economic Indicators report was released Thursday, coming in at 0.7 percent versus the consensus estimate of 0.2 percent. This welcome increase showed additional strength in many parts of the economic landscape, and the increase itself was the largest data jump in 11 months. The LEI report is an important data point to watch because it is an indication of future economic activity.
A new report out from Core Logic indicates shadow inventory (homes that are either somewhere in the foreclosure process, seriously delinquent, or bank-owned real estate – REO’s) could continue to be a headwind for housing’s short term recovery. This has been a concern to home prices across the nation, and until the majority of these homes are absorbed back into local markets, it will continue to be an area of scrutiny for many markets.
Mortgage rates were fairly flat Thursday, with yields on the 10-Year Treasury remaining below the 2.30 level for the second consecutive day.