North America

  • 2019-08-21 11:20


    By Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The pace of existing home sales rose by 2.5% to a 5.42 million annual rate in July, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday, landing above the 5.40 million forecast by an MNI survey of analysts.

    NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun attributed the uptick to exceptionally low mortgage rates and a healthy labor market, but warned that recession fears may scare off potential buyers.

    "Generally, low rates stimulate buying activity, the jobs market remains strong, but there's increasing economic uncertainty. Given that home buying is a major expenditure, people may be hesitant to buy homes if they believe we're facing an economic recession," he told reporters.

  • 2019-08-21 07:56


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The White House is unlikely to bring any proposal for a coordinated international economic stimulus plan to the G7 summit in Biarritz, and will not be concerned by the potential lack of a communique, Clete Willems, former U.S. sherpa and adviser to President Donald Trump, told MNI.

    "I think the administration would be very comfortable with no communique.

  • 2019-08-21 07:48


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The White House is unlikely to bring any proposal for a coordinated international economic stimulus plan to the G7 summit in Biarritz, and will not be concerned by the potential lack of a communique, Clete Willems, former U.S. sherpa and adviser to President Donald Trump, told MNI.

    "I think the administration would be very comfortable with no communique.

  • 2019-08-15 11:27


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Vancouver home sales rose the most since 1993 in July as average prices fell below the million-dollar mark, based on data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association Thursday

    Sales rose 26.4% from June in the west coast city, according to the data. The average price fell to C$967,314 in July from C$1.02 million a year earlier, or by 5.6% -- still by far the highest among major Canadian cities.

    The sales jump echoes the housing boom in Vancouver and Toronto that led policy makers to toughen mortgage qualification rules and impose taxes aimed at curbing speculative purchases. Buyers are coming back as they adjust to last year's mortgage rule change that hit those hot cities the hardest.

  • 2019-08-14 07:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a second straight surge in mortgage activity in the August 9 week, with activity up 21.7% as mortgage rates decreased further.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index rose by 37% to the highest level since 2016, while the purchases index increased by 2%. It was still up 12% year/year before seasonal adjustment.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.93% in the current week from 4.01% in the previous week, hitting its lowest point since November 2016 due to continued concerns about an escalated trade war and global economic concerns, the MBA said.

  • 2019-08-14 06:49


    --U.S., Other Sherpas Push For G7 Reassurance As Global Economy Deteriorates

    LONDON (MNI) - French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for G7 leaders to abandon their customary communique following their summit in Biarritz, France, next week in a bid to try and avoid the embarrassing disputes over wording which pitted U.S. President Donald Trump against the rest of the group's leaders at last year's Charlevoix, Canada, gathering.

    But sources close to France and the EU say that some G7 sherpas, including the U.S.

  • 2019-08-07 07:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a large surge in mortgage activity in the August 2 week, with activity up 5.3% as mortgage rates decreased to a 2-1/2 year low.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index rose by 12% to the highest level since 2016, but the purchases index decreased by 2%. It was still up 7% year/year before seasonal adjustment.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.01% in the current week from 4.08% in the previous week.

  • 2019-08-06 15:49


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard on Tuesday said he supports one more quarter-point rate cut by December as insurance against the risk that trade policy uncertainty further drags down growth and to bolster inflation.

    Speaking to reporters after giving a speech to the National Economists Club, Bullard said he anticipates trade policy uncertainty to stay high but cautioned that monetary policy should not respond to every threat and counter-threat.

    "I had already penciled in 50 basis points (in cuts) as of June. We made one of those moves at the July meeting and could make another one of those by the end of the year.

  • 2019-08-05 13:39


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve will launch a real-time payment system in 2023-2024 capable of making transactions within the United States in seconds

    The FedNow Service will initially be limited to transactions of no more than $25,000, the Fed said, adding that it will explore how the new service will be able to most effectively support the broader U.S. payment system.

    "FedNow will permit banks of every size in every community across the country to provide real-time payments to their customers," Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said in prepared remarks in a Kansas City Town Hall.

  • 2019-08-02 10:08


    --New Orders Ex. Transportation Up 0.1%, Nondurables Down 0.5%
    --Factory Inventories Up 0.2%; Business Inventories Tracking +0.1%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The value of new factory orders rose by 0.6% in June, coming in below the 0.8% gain forecasted by analysts in an MNI survey and the 0.7% increase expected by the Bloomberg consensus, data released by the Department of Commerce Friday morning showed.

    Durable goods orders improved dramatically, climbing to a 1.9% increase following 2.3% decline in May. Durable goods orders were originally reported up 2.0%. Nondurable goods orders fell by 0.5% on petroleum and coal products, after falling 0.3% in May.