US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

15th May 2024

NAHB Housing Market Index

Key takeaway: Home Builders confidence retreated in May as mortgage rates above 7% continued to bite. Home builder confidence had improved significantly since reaching a low of 34 on the Index in November. However, the measure stalled in April and retreated in May. Inflation has come in hotter than expected through most of 2024. The GDP print was weaker. Retail Sales have been a bit weak as well. All of these factors have been affecting consumer confidence and we can see that reflected in the Consumer Survey Indices as well. The NAHB housing index correlates to consumer confidence in general and hence the scale back in the Index is not a surprise. Also, there seems to be more inventory returning to the Existing Home Sales market which will likely keep a lid on home prices. On the balance though, barring these volatile monthly prints, Home Builders continue to be positive about the current conditions in the real estate market and about future prospects as well. Construction activity in the residential housing sector has also been picking up as seen in the Building permits and housing starts data which has also been generally resilient.

15th Apr 2024

Key takeaway: Home Builders confidence stalled in April with the recent hotter-than-expected inflation reports and the sharp rise in treasury yields and mortgage rates seen over the past couple of months. The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, had fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and to 34 in November). That was close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. After a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity cooled down significantly and home builder confidence dropped. However, with the drop in mortgage rates during the end of 2023, home builder confidence started increasing again. The Index had risen from 34 in November to 51.0 in March and it maintained the same level in April. This also was in line with consensus expectations. On the balance though, Home Builders continue to get more positive about the the current conditions in the real estate market and about future prospects as well. Construction activity in the residential housing sector has also been picking up as seen in the Building permits and housing starts data which has also been generally resilient.

18th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, had fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and to 34 in November). That was close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. After a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity cooled down significantly and home builder confidence dropped. However, with the drop in mortgage rates during the end of 2023, home builder confidence started increasing again. The Index has risen from 34 in November to the latest print of 51.0 in March. This also beat consensus expectations of 48.0 on the Index. This is a key development in the US Residential real estate market since the Index crossed the important threshold of 50 which typically denotes the level between expansion and contraction. Home Builders continue to get more positive about the the current conditions in the real estate market and about future prospects as well. However, it is also important to note that even though the Index has crossed the 50 level, it remains much below the 2021 / 22 peak as well as below average levels before the 2020 pandemic. Construction activity in the residential housing sector has also been picking up as seen in the Building permits and housing starts data which has also been generally resilient.

15th Feb 2024

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, had fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and to 34 in November). That was close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. After a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity cooled down significantly and home builder confidence dropped. However, with the recent drop in mortgage rates over the past 2 months, home builder confidence seems to be increasing again. The Index has risen from 34 in November to the latest print of 48.0 in February. This also beat consensus expectations of 46.0 on the Index. Construction activity in the residential housing sector has also been picking up as seen in the Building permits and housing starts data which has also been generally resilient.

17th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: After having fallen for 4 continuous months from July to November 2023, the NAHB Housing Market Index had increased from 34 to 37 in December. Home Builder confidence has started on an even further positive note in 2024. The NAHB Index rose substantially to 44 in January 2024. Treasury yields have come off in the last 2 months of 2023 and there has been an accompanying sharp and swift fall in mortgage rates. The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, had fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and to 34 in November). That was close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. After a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity cooled down significantly and home builder confidence dropped. However, with the recent drop in mortgage rates over the past 2 months, home builder confidence seems to be increasing again. Building permits and housing starts data has also been generally resilient.

18th Dec 2023

Key takeaway: After having fallen the last 4 months, the NAHB Housing Market Index increased from 34 to 37. Home Builder confidence improved with the sharp and swift fall in mortgage rates. The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, had fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and to 34 in November). That was close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. After a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity cooled down significantly and home builder confidence dropped. However, with the recent drop in mortgage rates over the past 2 months, home builder confidence seems to be increasing again.

16th Nov 2023

Key takeaway: The slide in the NAHB Index continued for a 4th month in a row. The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, has now fallen for 4 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September to 40 in October and now to 34 in November). This is close to the lowest index level (in the recent cycle) of 31 recorded in Dec 2022. The bottomline is that after a surge in early 2023, new home sales activity seems to be cooling down significantly and home builder confidence is waning. Apart from the headline index, home builders assessment of sales over the next 6 months and buyer traffic also fell steeply in November. The downstream effect of a cooling home market on the construction sector and construction jobs is likely to add to the recessionary headwinds in the US economy

17th Oct 2023

Key takeaway: The slide in the NAHB Index continued for a 3rd month in a row. The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, has now fallen for 3 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August to 45 in September and finally 40 in October). This possibly indicates that the rise in the new home market seen in 2023 is now cooling off as interest rates remain stubbornly high and inflation reaccelerating over the past few months. Apart from the headline index, home builders assessment of sales over the next 6 months and buyer traffic also fell steeply in October. The downstream effect of a cooling home market on the construction sector and construction jobs is likely to add to the recessionary headwinds in the US economy

18th Sep 2023

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is based on a monthly survey of home builders and is designed to reflect the sentiment in the new homes market. This key index, after rising for most of 2023, has now fallen for 2 months in a row (from 56 in July to 50 in August and now to 45 in September). This possibly indicates that the rise in the new home market seen in 2023 is now cooling off as interest rates remain stubbornly high and inflation reaccelerating over the past two months. Apart from the headline index, Home builders assessment of sales over the next 6 months and buyer traffic also fell steeply in September. The downstream effect of a cooling home market on the construction sector and construction jobs is likely to add to the recessionary headwinds in the US economy

15th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is a diffusion index. ie. A reading above 50 is taken to be expansionary or indicating a favorable outlook and a reading below 50 is taken to be contractionary or indicating a negative outlook. The NAHB Index had moved above the 50 mark in June (55) for the first time since July 2022. The Index then posted a small increase to 56 in August. In a key development, the NAHB Index moved back down substantially from 56 to 50. This breaks a 7 consecutive monthly increase trend. Everyone widely belives the US Residential Sector to have formed a bottom and New home sales have also been on a upswing. Hence any change in the home builders sentiment would be key in determining the direction of the US residential market.

19th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is a diffusion index. ie. A reading above 50 is taken to be expansionary or indicating a favorable outlook and a reading below 50 is taken to be contractionary or indicating a negative outlook. The NAHB Index moved above the 50 mark in June (55) for the first time since July 2022. The Index posted a small increase to 56 in its latest print today for July. However, the more important point to note is that this is the 7th consecutive monthly increase. The US Residential Sector is widely being called as having formed a bottom and New home sales have been on a upswing. The question really is – how long does this last? There have been some indications of a slowdown in the multi family housing construction space (which had been performing much better than the single family home market). However, activity seems to be picking back up again in the Single Family segment.

19th Jun 2023

Key takeaway: The NAHB Index is a diffusion index. ie. A reading above 50 is taken to be expansionary or indicating a favorable outlook and a reading below 50 is taken to be contractionary or indicating a negative outlook. The NAHB Index moved above the 50 mark (55 for the month of June) for the first time since July 2022. However, the more important point to note is that this is the 6th consecutive monthly increase. The US Residential Sector is widely being called as having formed a bottom and New home sales have been on a upswing. The question really is – how long does this last? There have been some indications of a slowdown in the multi family housing construction space (which had been performing much better than the single family home market). 

16th May 2023

Key takeaway: Who would have thought at the end of 2022 with US Residential Real Estate in free fall, we would be looking at the NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index back at 50.0 – the same level of July 2022 and 5 continuous months of sentiment index increases in 2023?! The story continues. Lack of inventory from fleeting sellers in the Existing Homes market is driving buyers and consequently momentum in the New Home Sales market. New Home prices continue to rise month over month. While that is typical from a seasonal perspective (spring home purchase season), it is key to note that it becomes harder to put a disinflationary spin to the overall price level in the economy when home prices continue to be on the upswing. The latest print of 50 is also significantly above consensus expectations of 45! It is little surprise that stocks of home builder companies and ETFs are not too far from their all time highs reached in 2022. 

17th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: The story continues.. In yet another sign of stabilization in the US housing market, the NAHB Index – a gauge of home builder confidence – increased more than expectations. The index was expected to print 44 and the latest read came in at 45. Just for context – last years low was 31 in Dec 2022. Limited resale inventory in the US residential market has resulted in more activity in the new construction / new home sales market. Even with mortgage rates much higher compared to a year ago, buyer demand has stayed relatively resilient. It is little surprise that stocks of home builder companies and ETFs are not too far from their all time highs reached in 2022. 

15th Mar 2023

Key takeaway: The latest reading of the NAHB Index for March once again reiterates a stabilizing US residential market. The Index has grown for the past 3 consecutive months from a low of 31 in Dec 2022 to a reading of 44 in March. This is still significantly below 2020/2021 high of 90. But it emphasizes that the current downturn in the US housing market has hit a pause if not a bottom. Even though high construction costs, high mortgage rates and lower housing affordability have been major headwinds for the US housing market, home builders have been cautiously optimistic since the start of 2023 that the worst of the housing downturn is over.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. The data is collected from a monthly survey of about 900 home builders asking respondents to, “rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and in the next six months as well as the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.” It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook.

NAHB