- Home prices in the U.S. fell in September for the third straight month
- 263,000 jobs were added in the U.S. in November
- The Consumer Confidence Index is down 22% from June of 2021
Top Three Market Headlines
Home Prices Fall for the Third Straight Month: Reflecting the rapidly cooling housing market, U.S. home prices declined in September for the third consecutive month. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas, dropped 1.2% from August. This is the first time in four years that home prices have fallen three months in a row, and during that period the index has decreased 2.6%. Compared to the prior year, the index was up 10.6% in September, the fifth consecutive month the rate of annual price gains has decelerated.
Jobs Report Highlights Rising Wages: The Labor Department reported last week that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose in November by 263,000, slightly less than additions of 281,000 in October and 269,000 in September, and the lowest level of gains since April of 2021. November's growth was led by the leisure & hospitality, health care, and government sectors. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% on the month. The report also reinforced the on-going wage pressures facing businesses, as average hourly earnings increased another 0.6% in November, amounting to a 5.1% annual jump.
Consumers' Outlook Remains Gloomy: The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell for the second straight month in November to 100.2, down from 102.2 in October. Separate index components measuring consumers' assessment of current economic conditions and their future outlook both declined. A representative of the Conference Board noted that the downtrend in the current conditions reading "continues to suggest the economy has lost momentum." At the same time, inflation expectations rose to their highest point since July, keyed by rising gas and food prices. The Index has been on a downward trajectory for the last 18 months, with November's reading off 22% from June of 2021.