• May 29 COVID-19 Test Results: Progress Link This data is from the Link https://t.co/gbFRNliTtz
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 21:44

    In late April, Dr. Fauci said the US might be able to test 400,000 to 600,000 people per day sometime in May, and testing is in that range. There might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. However, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day according to Dr. Jha of Harvard's Global Health Institute. There were 492,276 test results reported over the last 24 hours. Click on graph for larger image. This data is from the COVID Tracking Project. The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 4.6% (red line). The US probably needs enough tests to keep  the percentage positive well below 5%. (probably much lower based on testing in New Zealand).

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    Johns Hopkins relies on our testing data for its COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative, which brings data and expert analysis together in one place. The initiative is designed to help policymakers and the public understand the trajectory of the pandemic, and make decisions about the path forward.

  • Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate Increased in April Link https://t.co/Ynr5lsglEf
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 20:19

    Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency increased to 0.70% in April, from 0.66% in March. The serious delinquency rate is down from 0.72% in April 2019. IMPORTANT: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".  So it will take three months for the impact of COVID-19 to show up in this series. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%. Click on graph for larger image By vintage, for loans made in 2004 or earlier (2% of portfolio), 2.64% are seriously delinquent (up from 2.48% in March). For loans made in 2005 through 2008 (3% of portfolio), 4.41% are seriously delinquent (up from 4.11%), For recent loans, originated in 2009 through 2018 (95% of portfolio), only 0.38% are seriously delinquent (up from 0.35%). So Fannie is still working through a few poor performing loans from the bubble years. With COVID-19, this rate will increase significantly in a few months (it...

  • Goldman: "we boosted our Q2 GDP forecast by 3pp to -36% (qoq ar) and our estimate of the initial vintage by 2pp to -29.5% (released on July 30th)"
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 19:09
  • Q2 GDP Forecasts: Probably Around 40% Annual Rate Decline Link
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 15:49
    The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2020 is -51.2 percent on May 29, down from -40.4 percent on May 28. [May 29 estimate]
  • Real Personal Income less Transfer Payments Link https://t.co/V6qD8ZM5Rl
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 14:03

    In the Personal Income & Outlays report for April, the BEA noted that "Personal income increased $1.97 trillion (10.5 percent) in April". This was due to a large increase in transfer payment. Transfer payments increased by $3 trillion in April. Unemployment insurance increased from $70 billion in March, to $430 billion in April. And "Other" (mostly the CARES Act) increased by $2,600 billion in April. Without the increase in transfer payments, Personal Income in April would have declined by about  6%. A key measure of the health of the economy (Used by NBER in recession dating) is Real Personal Income less Transfer payments. Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows real personal income less transfer payments since 1990. This measure of economic activity decreased 2.8% in March, compared to February, and another 6.3% in April (compared to March).

  • Black Knight: Mortgage Forbearance Volumes Flatten, Total Roughly Steady at 4.76M Link
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 13:28
    The latest data from the McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that forbearance volumes have essentially flattened, and in fact new inflows have slowed to a relative trickle. While the leveling off of active forbearance volumes is welcome news, the focus of industry participants – especially servicers and mortgage investors – is already shifting from pipeline growth to pipeline management. ... As of May 26, 4.76 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, with a net increase of just 7,000 new forbearance plans since last week. That’s in comparison to a 325,000 net increase in the first week of May, and 1.4 million in the first week of April.
  • Personal Income increased 10.5% in April, Spending decreased 13.6%, Core PCE decreased 0.4% Link https://t.co/waGCw4OZWr
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 12:43
    Personal income increased $1.97 trillion (10.5 percent) in April according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $2.13 trillion (12.9 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $1.89 trillion (13.6 percent). Real DPI increased 13.4 percent in April and Real PCE decreased 13.2 percent. The PCE price index decreased 0.5 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index decreased 0.4 percent.
  • Merrill on May NFP: "We forecast payrolls to fall by 8mn and unemployment to rise to 19.0%."
    Bill McBride Fri 29 May 2020 12:23
  • May 28 COVID-19 Test Results: Progress Link https://t.co/6WBNoUQYac
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 21:08

    In late April, Dr. Fauci said the US might be able to test 400,000 to 600,000 people per day sometime in May, and testing is in the lower half of that range. There might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. However, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day according to Dr. Jha of Harvard's Global Health Institute. There were 453,560 test results reported over the last 24 hours. Click on graph for larger image. This data is from the COVID Tracking Project. The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 5.1% (red line). The US probably needs enough tests to keep  the percentage positive well below 5%. (probably much lower based on testing in New Zealand).

  • Hotels: Occupancy Rate Declined 50.2% Year-over-year, Slight Increase Week-over-week Link https://t.co/sW4I1YaClk
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 20:23
    STR data ending with 23 May showed another small rise from previous weeks in U.S. hotel performance. Year-over-year declines remained significant although not as severe as the levels recorded in April. 17-23 May 2020 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019): • Occupancy: 35.4% (-50.2%) • Average daily rate (ADR): US$80.92 (-39.7%) • Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$28.67 (-69.9%) “The steady climb in national occupancy continued, and to no surprise, the highest levels were recorded on Friday and Saturday ahead of Memorial Day,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP of lodging insights. “Occupancy gains continue to be led by popular leisure markets like the Florida Panhandle, Mobile, Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach. We even saw a weekday-to-weekend ADR premium in higher occupancy markets. “What was also noticeable in the week’s data was the higher occupancy levels across all classes of hotels. Economy properties continued to lead, but we also saw the higher-priced...
  • Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate increased in April Link https://t.co/gwe6dWOIhU
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 17:28

    Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate in April was 0.64%, up from 0.60% in March. Freddie's rate is down from 0.65% in April 2019. This is the highest serious delinquency rate since last April. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".  Click on graph for larger image With COVID-19, this rate will increase significantly in a few months (it takes time since these are mortgage three months or more past due). Note: Fannie Mae will report for April soon.

  • Kansas City Fed: "Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Continued to Decline" in May Link https://t.co/jOSHcFyy4W
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 15:07
    Tenth District manufacturing activity continued to decline, but not as sharply compared to last month’s record low. Expectations for future activity rose, but remained slightly negative. Month-over-month price indexes remained negative again in May. Moving forward, District firms expected prices for finished goods to decline and prices for raw materials to increase in the next six months. The month-over-month composite index was -19 in May, up somewhat from the record low of -30 in April, and similar to -17 in March emphasis added
  • NAR: Pending Home Sales Decrease 21.8% in April Link
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 14:07
    Brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, pending home sales decreased in April, making two straight months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Every major region experienced a drop in month-over-month contract activity and a decline in year-over-year pending home sales transactions. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, fell 21.8% to 69.0 in April. Year-over-year, contract signings shrank 33.8%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. ... The Northeast PHSI sank 48.2% to 42.6 in April, 52.6% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 15.9% to 72.0 last month, down 26.0% from April 2019. Pending home sales in the South fell 15.4% to an index of 87.6 in April, a 29.6% decrease from April 2019. The index in the West slipped 20.0% in April 2020 to 57.1, down 37.2% from a year ago. emphasis added
  • Q1 GDP Revised Down to -5.0% Annual Rate Link
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 12:47
    Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2020, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.1 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the decrease in real GDP was 4.8 percent. With the second estimate, a downward revision to private inventory investment was partly offset by upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment. emphasis added
  • Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 2,123,000 Link This does not include the 1,192,616 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). https://t.co/wjsRwmNfYm
    Bill McBride Thu 28 May 2020 12:42
    In the week ending May 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 2,123,000, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 8,000 from 2,438,000 to 2,446,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,608,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,000 from 3,042,000 to 3,044,000. emphasis added
  • May 27 COVID-19 Test Results: Going Backwards Link https://t.co/F7ptfDvjI3
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 22:01

    In addition to having enough tests for test-and-trace, we also need people to conduct contact tracing. There is a great website that tracks the progress of each towards test-and-trace. The website also has resources on how to implement test-and-trace. This includes software, training resources, a calculator for how many people to hire and more. My state (California) now has 3,800 contact tracers. That is still too few, but a start! In late April, Dr. Fauci said the US might be able to test 400,000 to 600,000 people per day sometime in May, and  testing is below that range.  There might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas.  However, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day according to Dr. Jha of Harvard's Global Health Institute. There were 285,440 test results reported over the last 24 hours. Click on graph for larger image. This data is from the COVID Tracking Project. The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 6.5% (red...

  • New Home Prices Link https://t.co/lqaN0Ph3rt
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 19:01

    As part of the new home sales report released yesterday, the Census Bureau reported the number of homes sold by price and the average and median prices. From the Census Bureau: "The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2020 was $309,900. The average sales price was $364,500." The following graph shows the median and average new home prices. Click on graph for larger image. During the housing bust, the builders had to build smaller and less expensive homes to compete with all the distressed sales.  When housing started to recovery - with limited finished lots in recovering areas - builders moved to higher price points to maximize profits. The average price in April 2020 was $364,500, down 3.4% from March, and down 9.5% from the peak in 2017.  The median price was $309,900, down 5.2% from March, and down 9.8% from the peak in 2017. The average and median house prices are down from 2017 since home builders are offering more lower priced homes. The...

  • Fed's Beige Book: "Economic activity declined in all Districts – falling sharply in most" Link
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 18:06
    Economic activity declined in all Districts – falling sharply in most – reflecting disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer spending fell further as mandated closures of retail establishments remained largely in place during most of the survey period. Declines were especially severe in the leisure and hospitality sector, with very little activity at travel and tourism businesses. Auto sales were substantially lower than a year ago, although several Districts noted recent improvement. A majority of Districts reported sharp drops in manufacturing activity, and production was notably weak in auto, aerospace, and energy-related plants. Residential home sales plunged due in part to fewer new listings and to restrictions on home showings in many areas. Construction activity also fell as new projects failed to materialize in many Districts. Commercial real estate contacts mentioned that a large number of retail tenants had deferred or missed rent payments. Bankers...
  • Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes Decreased in All States in April Link https://t.co/B3v9fVToNK
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 15:31
    The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for April 2020. Over the past three months, the indexes decreased in all 50 states, for a three-month diffusion index of -100. Additionally, in the past month, the indexes decreased in all 50 states, for a one-month diffusion index of -100. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed has also developed a similar coincident index for the entire United States. The Philadelphia Fed’s U.S. index fell 13.7 percent over the past three months and 12.0 percent in April. emphasis added
  • There is also a small business pulse survey Link
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 15:16
  • Census: Household Pulse Survey shows 48.5% of Households lost Income Link https://t.co/8iPH8omVUY
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 15:16
    The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with five federal agencies, is in a unique position to produce data on the social and economic effects of COVID-19 on American households. The Household Pulse Survey is designed to deploy quickly and efficiently, collecting data to measure household experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Data will be disseminated in near real-time to inform federal and state response and recovery planning. … Data collection for the Household Pulse Survey began on April 23, 2020. The Census Bureau will collect data for 90 days, and release data on a weekly basis. (For the first release, the Census Bureau anticipates it will take two weeks after the first week of data collection to prepare and weight the data; subsequent releases will then be made on a weekly basis.)
  • MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased, Purchase Applications up 9% Year over Year Link https://t.co/4VovTAS6Te
    Bill McBride Wed 27 May 2020 12:26
    Mortgage applications increased 2.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 22, 2020. ... The Refinance Index decreased 0.2 percent from the previous week and was 176 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 9 percent higher than the same week one year ago. ... “The home purchase market continued its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search. Purchase applications increased 9 percent last week – the sixth consecutive weekly increase and a jump of 54 percent since early April. Additionally, the purchase loan amount has increased steadily in recent weeks and is now at its highest level since mid-March,” said Joel Kan MBA’s Associate Vice...
  • May 26 COVID-19 Test Results Link https://t.co/SJj3or01Tq
    Bill McBride Tue 26 May 2020 22:20

    In late April, Dr. Fauci said the US might be able to test 400,000 to 600,000 people per day sometime in May, and  testing is now close to that range. This might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas.  However, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day according to Dr. Jha of Harvard's Global Health Institute. There were 302,099 test results reported over the last 24 hours. Click on graph for larger image. This data is from the COVID Tracking Project. The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 5.4% (red line). The US probably needs enough tests to keep  the percentage positive well below 5%. (probably much lower based on testing in New Zealand).

  • MBA Survey: "Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Increases to 8.36%" of Portfolio Volume Link
    Bill McBride Tue 26 May 2020 20:05
    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance increased from 8.16% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.36% as of May 17, 2020. According to MBA’s estimate, 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans. ... “Although job losses continue at extremely high rates, mortgage servicers are reporting only modest increases in the share of loans in forbearance as of May 17,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The decline in employment and income is hitting FHA and VA borrowers harder, leading to 11.6 percent of Ginnie Mae loans currently in forbearance.” Added Fratantoni, “Forbearance requests declined relative to the prior week, and while call volume picked up, servicers appear well staffed for this volume, as wait times and abandonment rates dropped.” emphasis added
  • The course of the economy will be determined by the course of the virus, and New Home Sales tell us nothing about the future of the pandemic.
    Bill McBride Tue 26 May 2020 18:05
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