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August new home sales jumped +7.1%, with a -5.9% drop in the Northeast and a -3% drop in the Midwest somewhat offsetting jumps of 16.5% in the West and 6% in the South. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales was 713,000, up 18% compared to August 2018, and just 15,000 shy of the 12 year record set in June at 729,000. The median sale price rose +7.5% to an 8 month high of $328,400, with the average sale price up +8.5% to $404,000. The supply of new homes available for purchase was down -1.2% to 326,000, dropping from a 5.9 month supply to a 5.5 month supply, and the median months for a new home’s sale after completion dropped from 3.4 months to 3.2.
The third estimate of GDP for Q2 remained at 2%, with a minor -0.1% downward revision to consumer spending to +4.6%, and a stronger -0.3% downward revision for business spending to a -1.4% decline. The drops in consumer and business spending were offset by upward revisions to government spending (revised +0.3% to +4.8%) and exports (revised +0.1 to -5.7) and a downward revision to imports (revised -0.1% to a flat 0.0%). Pre-tax corporate profits were revised downward from 5.3% to 3.8% to $2,083 billion, with after tax adjusted profits dropping from the previous estimate of $1,883 billion to $1,858 billion. Net dividends were revised from upward from +1.6% to +1.7% ($1,347 billion), and were up +4.3% compared to Q2 2018.
Overall new orders for durable goods were up +2.0% in August, but the gain was primarily due to increases in defense spending with a rise of +30.3% (to $4,555 million) for defense aircraft and +15.4% (to $13,695 million) for defense capital goods. Excluding defense spending, new orders were down -0.6% to $235,151 billion, with drops for civilian aircraft (-17.1%), communications equipment (-3.9%), and nondefense capital goods (-2.1%). Orders increased for primary metals (+1.5%), fabricated metal products (+1.3%), and machinery (+0.6%). New orders for cars were down -0.8% for the month, but were up 5.9% for the year, while manufacturing with unfilled orders was up +0.3% for the month but down -2.0% for the year.
Tuesday October 1 – ISM Manufacturing Index
Friday October 4 – Employment Situation