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Home | Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

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Driving the Market

What's Driving the Market?

Select Print Feature, originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of DS News Magazine.   For get prices. Forget mortgage rates. The main driver of housing demand—according to ...

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Commentary: Same Old, Same Old

The summer is over and with it the end of re-runs of (some of) our favorite shows. There might even be some original movies, not sequels or prequels. But, there’s one more re-run we have to endure but with a new twist: Republicans in Congress balking at increasing the debt ceiling and threatening a government shutdown when the federal fiscal year ends October 1 unless and this is the twist legislation passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President is tweaked, modified, changed, delayed or otherwise abandoned .

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Personal Income, Spending Surge in August

Personal income grew in August at its fastest pace since February and consumer spending grew faster than July, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday. The growth matched economist forecasts of a 0.4 percent boost in income and a 0.3 percent increase in spending.

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Pending Sales Index in 3rd Straight Monthly Drop

Continuing to respond to higher mortgage rates, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) slipped for the third straight month, dropping 1.6 percent in August to 107.7 the lowest level since April, the National Association of Realtors which compiles the index reported Thursday.

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2Q GDP Maintains 2.5% Growth Pace

The nation’s economy grew 2.5 percent in the second quarter, slower than economists forecast, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday. Economists had expected the report the third in the series of monthly GDP reports by the BEA to show the economy had grown at a 2.

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1st Time Jobless Claims Continue to Drop

Continuing the drop in first time claims for unemployment insurance, initial filings fell 5,000 for the week ended September 21 to 305,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists had expected the number of claims to jump up to 330,000, from the 309,000 originally reported for the week ended September 14.

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Household Net Worth Growth Slows in Q2

Household net worth improved $1.3 trillion in the second quarter -- half as fast as the first -- as real estate values grew $626.7 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report. But, with a drop in mortgage debt from $9.39 trillion in the first quarter to $9.34 trillion in the second, homeowner equity grew to 49.8 percent.

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Aug New Home Sales Recover From July Plunge

Builders lowered prices and buyers responded in August, pushing new home sales up 7.9 percent to 421,000, reversing almost half of July’s 64,000 drop in sales, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected June sales to rise to 425,000 from July’s originally reported 394,000.

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July Case Shiller Indices Improve More Slowly

Home prices rose in July by less than two percent for the first time since March but still reached their highest level since August 2008, according to the Case Shiller Home Price Indexes released Tuesday. The 20-city index was up 1.8 percent in July 12.4 percent in the last year — while the companion 10-city index was up 1.9 percent.

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Commentary: Whither the Fed

What's up with the Fed? The venerable, usually media-shy central bank came in for more than its share of attention in the past week and has no one to blame but itself. It started with the withdrawal of Larry Summers as a candidate to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke who, by the way, has not said he's leaving. Then came the conclusion of a two-day, closed-door policy meeting that defied all market expectations.

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