Weekly economic review & outlook
Housing ends 2019 on a hot streak
January 27, 2020
You Need to Know
Week in review
Existing home sales spike in December
Existing home sales rose by 3.6 percent as housing demand remains strong, although supply conditions tightened further.
Leading economic indicators pull back
The LEI dropped by 0.3 percent in December and has declined in four of the past five months – a warning sign for future growth.
New home sales should climb
A hot housing market combined with a low inventory of existing homes for sales should lead to a faster pace for new home sales.
Q4 GDP growth expected to be little changed from Q3
Offsetting strengths and weaknesses – such as the hot housing market and declining manufacturing, respectively – are expected to balance out to keep GDP growth about unchanged from the prior quarter.
Existing home sales jumped by 3.6 percent in December to an annualized pace of 5.54 million units, the fastest monthly reading in nearly two years. This extended a pickup in sales during the fourth quarter in response to continued positive drivers of housing demand. As sales were weaker at the end of 2018 in reaction to higher mortgage rates then, existing sales in December 2019 were 10.8 percent above levels from a year earlier.