- Existing home sales rose 7% in September from the prior month
- Manufacturers in the Boston region are reporting 10-30% increases in input prices versus last year, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book
- U.S. industrial production fell by 1.3% in September
Top Three Market Headlines
Existing Home Sales Rebound in September: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported last week that existing home sales rose 7% in September from the prior month to nearly 6.3 million units. This was the strongest one-month gain since January and the first time in six months that sales exceeded 6.0 million. After market activity had slowed in the summer due to tight inventories, a modest improvement in the supply of homes for sale in September helped spur additional sales. The strong upward trend in prices continued, as the median price of existing home sales rose 13.3% in September from a year ago to $352,800.
Businesses Report Supply Shortages and Rising Costs: The Federal Reserve last week released the latest edition of its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal material about current economic conditions collected from businesses eight times a year by the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. The report noted that respondents’ near-term outlooks for economic activity generally remains positive, highlighting the continued rise in spending by consumers and increased manufacturing activity. However, businesses also reported on-going struggles with supply shortages, transportation bottlenecks, worker retention, and higher costs, with many noting that they had consequently raised their own prices.
U.S. Industrial Production Declines in September: Industrial production in the U.S. fell in September as automotive production delays and the effects of Hurricane Ida hampered manufacturing and mining output. According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production—a measure of manufacturing, mining and utility output—fell 1.3% from the prior month, marking the largest monthly decline since February. The production of motor vehicles and parts fell 7.2% compared to August, weighing heavily on overall manufacturing output, as the global semiconductor shortage continues to create supply-chain issues for the automotive industry.