Pending Home Sales, Manufacturing Up
A trio of economic data just hit moments ago, so we'll break it down like this:
-- Pending home sales in July rose 3.2 percent compared with June and 12 percent compared with July 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors. This represents the sixth straight month of inclines. This number represents contracts signed, and one-third of the buyers were first-timers, taking advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which expires at the end of November.
This figure is clearly being goosed by the $8,000 credit, and that goes away in the worst time of the year to try to sell a house, the winter. So there could be a pullback in pending home sales come Christmas, especially if the markets pull back as well.
-- The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index broke 50 for the first time since January 2008, coming in at 52.9. Here's what that means: The ISM index is a key measure of manufacturing in this country, and any number below 50 means the economy is in contraction; any number over 50 means it's in expansion.
This is a significant bridge crossed in economic recovery because it means that manufacturers have burned down as much of their inventory as they feel comfortable with and are launching new purchase orders, which means jobs.
-- Construction spending for July was down 0.2 percent, which is in line with expectations, the Commerce Department said, following a blip up in June. This number will hop around until it looks like there's real traction in the recovery.
-- Frank Ahrens
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September 1, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: ISM, construction spending, home sales
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