Fundamentals 5/27

Personal Income/Expenses:
– Personal Income – Month/Month change 0.4%
– Personal Income – Year/Year change 4.4%
– Consumer Spending – M/M change 0.4%
– Consumer Spending – Year/Year change 4.8%
– Core PCE price index – Month/Month change 0.2%
– Core PCE price index – Year/Year change 1.0%

Income growth is fairly strong but being consumed by higher energy and food costs. In is not that people are buying more stuff but more the case that they are paying more for the stuff they are buying.

The PCE price index is a measure of inflation which looks only at consumer goods.

Consumer Sentiment increased to 74.3. For the past year this number has unduly been affected by gasoline prices making it, in my view, useless.

NAR Pending Home Sales:
Pending home sales fell 11.6% since last month, and fell 26.5% since last year. The housing market is ill. With prices continuing to fall there is little incentive to buy now. Politicians have insinuated themselves into the market trying to make foreclosures tougher. The effect of that will be to drag out the date on which we start to see recovery in the housing market.