DID YOU KNOW? A gauge of U.S. home-builder confidence fell sharply in November, dragged down by heightened affordability concerns and rising interest rates in the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders said its housing-market index dropped by 8 points to a reading of 60 in November, well below economists’ expectations and the lowest level in more than two years. Figures over 50 mean more builders see conditions as good rather than bad, which means that, despite the November drop, builder sentiment is still in positive terrain.
DID YOU KNOW? In the 3rd quarter of 2018, total household debt increased for the 17th consecutive quarter to $13.51 trillion, more than 20% above the trough it hit in the second quarter of 2013. Total mortgage debt was $9.14 trillion in the 3rd quarter, an increase from the 2nd quarter, but below the peak of $9.29 trillion in the 3rd quarter of 2008. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Want to know why several luxury markets are shifting? Look no further than the sharp declines of some favorite stocks: Amazon is 26% off it's 52-week-high, Apple 20% and Facebook 39%.....but before you shed a tear, note these stocks are quite notably up compared to 3 years ago: Facebook is up 24%, Apple 58% and Amazon is up a whopping 124% still!
DID YOU KNOW? US GDP is expected to expand at an annualized rate of 2.7% this quarter, down from 4.2% in the second quarter and 3.5% in the third.GDP growth is then forecast to slow to 2.0-2.5% throughout 2019 and then down to 1.8% by mid-2020, about half the latest reported rate. As growth slows, expect interest rate hikes to slow too. After an expected December 2018 rate increase, median forecasts show 3 more increases in 2019, taking the federa funds rate to 3.00-3.25% by year-end. (Reuters)