MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Leading Economic Index rises another 1.1 percent in November
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI)for the U.S. increased by 1.1 percent in November to 119.9, following a 0.9 percent increase in October and a 0.3 percent increase in September, suggesting the current economic expansion will continue into the first half of 2022. Inflation and continuing supply chain disruptions, as well as a resurgence of COVID-19, pose risks to GDP growth in 2022. Still, the economic impact of these risks may be contained.
November industrial production up another 0.5 percent to highest level since September 2019
Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in November. The indexes for both manufacturing and mining increased 0.7 percent, while the index for utilities decreased 0.8 percent. At 102.3 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in November was 5.3 percent above its year-earlier level and at its highest reading since September 2019. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 percentage point to 76.8 percent; even so, it was 2.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
Suburban shift continues for multi-family development
Between the third quarter of 2020 and 2021, the share of new multifamily permits fell from 40.5% to 37.9% in large metro core markets. Meanwhile, the permit share in small metro area counties increased from 24.9% to 27.2%. Though these percentage changes seem relatively small, they are statistically significant changes. Historically, year-to-year changes in multifamily market share are usually slow to develop and rarely move more than one percentage point higher or lower. This makes these latest year-over-year numbers noteworthy.