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Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

First-Time Jobless Claims Finish Year at 372K

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose 10,000 to 372,000 for the week ending December 29, the third-lowest level of the year, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 363,000.

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Commentary: Addressing the Right Problem

Negotiators in Washington face a dismal weekend leading up to -- and perhaps including -- New Year's Eve, made worse because they're trying to solve the wrong problem. They're wrangling over how to avoid the fiscal cliff when a series of laws aimed at or contributing to the nation's deficit are set to expire, complicated by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's pronouncement the nation is approaching its debt ceiling.

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November Pending Home Sales Index at 31-Month High

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increased for the third straight month in November, improving 1.7 percent to 106.4, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday. Economists had expected a slightly fast, 1.8 percent increase to 106.7. The index, the NAR said, is at its highest level since April 2010.

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November New Home Sales at 31-Month High

New home sales jumped 4.4 percent in November to 377,000, the highest level since April 2010, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show a sales pace of 375,000.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Drop to 350k, Near Low for Year

First time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 12,000 to 350,000 for the week ended December 22, the third lowest level of the year, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 365,000. The previous week’s report was revised upward to 362,000 from the originally reported 361,000.

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Home Prices Drop in October; 1st Dip Since March

Home prices fell in October for the first time since March, according to the monthly Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Both the 10-city index and the 20-city index decreased 0.1 percent from September to 158.77 and 146.08 respectively. The value of the 10 city index fell 0.10 and of the 20-city index dropped 0.09. The 10-city index for October was 3.4 percent higher than it was in October 2011 and the 20-city index showed a 4.3 percent year-year gain.

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Five Star Economist: Housing in 2013 Depends on Many Moving Parts

No matter how foggy the haze is, economists typically dust off their crystal balls in December. However economic forecasts too often involve driving by looking in a rear-view mirror. Anticipating what might happen in the housing markets, with so many moving parts involved, can be the trickiest of all forecasts. Because housing is a unique expenditure--combining elements of investment and a service--it depends on a variety of elements: employment, income, interest rates, the regulatory environment, and even the weather.

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Personal Income Jumps In November

Personal income jumped 0.6 percent in November--twice what economists forecast--improving $85.8 billion, while spending rose a hefty 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth in spending matched economists’ forecasts.

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NAR: Existing-Home Sales Jump to 3-Year High in November

Existing-home sales rose 5.9 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, the highest level since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economist had expected the sales pace to improve to 4.9 million. The median price of an existing single-family home rose to $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent from November 2011. November was the ninth consecutive month to see year-over-year price gains, maintaining the longest streak for yearly improvements since mid-2006.

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