National residential new home sales for January; 2020

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Conference Board consumer confidence index; February; 2020

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Increased Slightly in February
Consumer Spending Will Continue to Support Economic Growth Through First Half

New York, February 25, 2020…The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® improved slightly in February, following an increase in January. The Index now stands at 130.7 (1985=100), up from 130.4 in January. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 173.9 to 165.1. However, the Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 101.4 last month to 107.8 this month.

“Consumer confidence improved slightly in February, following an increase in January,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators. “Despite the decline in the Present Situation Index, consumers continue to view current conditions quite favorably. Consumers’ short-term expectations improved, and when coupled with solid employment growth, should be enough to continue to support spending and economic growth in the near term.”

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was February 13.

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was less favorable in February. Those claiming business conditions are “good” declined from 40.0 percent to 38.6 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 10.4 percent to 11.9 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market also moderated from last month. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 47.2 percent to 44.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased from 11.9 percent to 14.8 percent.

Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 18.4 percent to 20.4 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined, from 8.6 percent to 7.4 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs declined slightly from 16.5 percent to 16.2 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead also decreased, from 12.9 percent to 11.1 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an increase rose from 21.6 percent to 22.0 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 8.0 percent to 6.7 percent.

Source: February 2020 Consumer Confidence Survey®

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United Van Lines migration survey for 2019

2019 United Van Lines National Movers Study

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Conference Board Leading Economic Index; January 2020

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in January
Economic Expansion Will Continue Through First Half of 2020

NEW YORK, February 20, 2020…The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in January to 112.1 (2016 = 100), following a 0.3 percent decline in December and a 0.1 percent increase in November.

“The strong pickup in the January US LEI was driven by a sharp drop in initial unemployment insurance claims, increasing housing permits, consumers’ outlook on the economy and financial indicators,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “The LEI’s six-month growth rate has returned to positive territory, suggesting that the current economic expansion – at about 2 percent – will continue through early 2020. While weakness in manufacturing appears to show signs of softening, the COVID-19 outbreak may impact manufacturing supply chains in the US in the coming months.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1 percent in January to 107.3 (2016 = 100), following no change in December, and a 0.4 percent increase in November.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. was unchanged in January at 108.7 (2016 = 100), following a 0.1 percent decline in December, and a 0.3 percent increase in November.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S.
The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading, coincident, and lagging economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading, coincident, or lagging indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:

Average weekly hours, manufacturing
Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance
Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials
ISM® Index of New Orders
Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
Building permits, new private housing units
Stock prices, 500 common stocks
Leading Credit Index™
Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds
Average consumer expectations for business conditions

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National new homes starts and permits for January; 2020

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TMLS market update; January 2020

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Conference Board Employment Trends Index for January; 2020

NEW YORK, February 10, 2020…The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in January, following a decline in December. The index now stands at 110.24, up from 108.84 (a downward revision) in December. The index is up 0.7 percent from a year ago.

“The Employment Trends Index increased in January, signaling solid job growth in early 2020,” said Gad Levanon, Head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute. “The improvement in the ETI, along with Friday’s job report and other indicators, suggest that employment growth has been accelerating after several weak quarters in 2019. The improvement in labor force participation – especially for women – and the noticeable, yet still modest, improvement in labor productivity is providing the US economy with more room to grow in 2020, despite historically tight labor markets.”

January’s increase was fueled by positive contributions from seven of the eight components. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, the Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” the Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, the Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Job Openings, and Industrial Production

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