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Existing home sales fell -4.9% in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.21 million, which was -5.4% lower than a year previously. However, new home sales gained +4.5% for the month, to a SAAR of 692,000, and a yearly increase of +3.0%. Prices for existing homes continued to increase with the median price of $259,400 growing +3.7% for the month (+3.8% Y/Y), while median new home prices dropped -0.3% for the month to $302,700, and were down -9.7% Y/Y. The supply of existing homes for sale increased from 3.9 months to 4.0 months (+8.1% Y/Y), while new home inventory dropped for the third consecutive month to 6.0 months supply but remained +13.2% higher over the year.
A 60% increase in civilian aircraft orders and a 2.1% increase for motor vehicles pushed overall durable goods orders in March up +2.7% after an upwardly revised -1.1% drop in February. Excluding transportation, orders were up +0.4%, and capital goods orders, which exclude defense, were up +6.6%. New orders fell for computers (-4.5%), fabricated metal products (-0.3%), and primary metals (-0.2%), but were up for communications equipment (+9.0%), defense (+7.4%), manufacturing (+3.4%), and machinery (+0.3%).
GDP grew at +3.2% for the first quarter of 2019, with positive contributions from consumer spending, private inventories, exports, nonresidential fixed investments and government spending, and subtractions from imports and decreases in residential investment. After tax real disposable income rose +2.4%, compared to +4.3% in the 4th quarter of 2018, while the personal savings rate in Q1 rose to +7.0% vs 6.8% in Q4, both of which helped decelerate consumer spending from a +2.5% increase in Q4 to a +1.2% increase in Q1. A -5.9% drop in nondefense federal spending was balanced by a +4.1% increase in federal defense spending to keep overall federal spending unchanged for the quarter, but a +3.9% increase in state and local spending pushed overall government spending up +2.4%.
Wednesday May 1 – FOMC Meeting Announcement
Friday May 3 – Employment Situation