4/02: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

ADP: Private sector employment falls by 27,000 in March

According to ADP, private-sector employment decreased by 27,000 from February to March, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This compares to gains of 179,000 the previous month and 165,000 in March 2019. We’ll get a more comprehensive read on the U.S. job market on Friday.



Mortgage applications rebound 15.3 percent, but purchase loans decline 11 percent

The Market Composite Index increased 15.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 11 percent (down 10 percent year-on-year) but refinance activity rising 26 percent (up 168 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.47 percent from 3.82 percent.



Pre-pandemic February construction spending up 6.0 percent year-on-year

Construction spending during February 2020 was estimated an annual rate of $1,366.7 billion, down 1.3 percent from January but up 6.0 percent year-on-year. During the first two months of this year, construction spending amounted to $193.5 billion, up 8.2 percent year-on-year.



Case-Shiller Index rose 0.5 percent in January and 3.9 percent year-on-year

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 3.9 percent annual gain in January, up from 3.7 percent in the previous month. Prices also rose 0.5 percent from the previous month after seasonal adjustment.



March manufacturing sector index falls one point to 49.1 as near-term outlook turns negative

The March Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI®) registered 49.1 percent, down 1 percentage point from the February reading of 50.1 percent. Comments from the panel were negative regarding the near-term outlook, with sentiment clearly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and energy market volatility.