MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Builder confidence drops to 46, lowest point since spring 2020
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell three points in September to 46, the lowest level since May 2014 with the exception of the spring of 2020. In another indicator of a weakening market, 24% of builders reported reducing home prices, up from 19% last month. Current sales conditions dropped three points to 54, sales expectations in the next six months declined one point to 46 and traffic of prospective buyers fell one point to 31.
September consumer sentiment edges up but still down sharply year-on-year
Consumer sentiment was essentially unchanged in September, just 1.3 index points above August but down 13.3 points year-on-year. The one-year economic outlook continued lifting from the extremely low readings earlier in the summer, but these gains were largely offset by modest declines in the long run outlook. Personal finance components of the index as well as buying conditions for durables remained at similar, relatively low levels from last month. After the marked improvement in sentiment in August, consumers showed signs of uncertainty over the trajectory of the economy.
State-level analysis shows wide disparity in year-on-year job gains
Year-over-year ending in August, 5.8 million jobs have been recovered, marking a full recovery of the labor market from the COVID-19 pandemic induced recession. All the states and District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned 726,900 jobs in Texas to 5,700 jobs added in Vermont. In percentage terms, Texas reported the highest increase by 5.7%, while Mississippi increased by 1.0% compared to a year ago.