2/8: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

CoreLogic:  Home price growth to slow to 3.4 percent in 2019
December 2018 home prices were up 0.1 percent from November and 4.7 percent year-on-year, the slowest annual pace since August 2012.  After rising an average of 5.8 percent in 2018, CoreLogic is forecasting 2019 growth to remain positive, but slow to 3.4 percent.

November trade deficit declined 11.5 percent from October, but still up 10.4 percent YTD year-on-year
The goods and services deficit was $49.3 billion in November, down $6.4 billion from $55.7 billion in October.  Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $51.9 billion, or 10.4 percent, from the same period in 2017. Exports increased $157.1 billion or 7.3 percent. Imports increased $208.9 billion or 7.9 percent.

Initial unemployment claims retreat by 19,000 in weekly report
In the week ending February 2, initial unemployment claims retreated by 19,000 from last week’s 1.5-year high to 234,000.   The previous surge was explained by a combination of the federal government shutdown, the California teachers’ strike, and other temporary factors.  The 4-week moving average was 224,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 220,250.