“I got a job baby. I got work to do.” (The Isley Brothers) New job creation exceeded expectations in November, but earnings disappointed.
Job growth remained solid in November after the brief hiccup in September due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 228,000 new jobs were created last month, above the 190,000 expected. The unemployment rate also remained at 4.1 percent, which is considered full employment. Average hourly earnings disappointed, however, growing by 0.2 percent from October to November, below the 0.3 percent expected. Year-over-year, earnings rose 2.5 percent, again below the 2.7 percent expected. In 2017, average monthly job growth eased to 174,000 new jobs per month from 187,000 in 2016.
Home prices continued their winning ways and pushed higher in October due in part to a strengthening economy, an acute lack of home supply and low home-loan rates. Data analytics firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, surged 7 percent from October 2016 to October 2017 and were up 0.9 percent from September to October. Looking ahead, CoreLogic sees a slowing in prices. Expectations are for a rise of 4.2 percent from October 2017 to October 2018.
Although home prices continue to rise, home loan rates remain attractive.
The Fed meeting highlights a week that also brings news on inflation and retail sales.
- Economic data kicks-off on Tuesday with inflation numbers from the Producer Price Index, followed by the Consumer Price Index on Wednesday.
- Retail Sales and weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be delivered on Thursday.
- On Friday, regional manufacturing data will be released in the Empire State Index.
If you or someone you know has questions about home financing or home loan rates, please contact me. I’d be happy to help.