- Existing home sales fell by 5.9% in October from the prior month
- Industrial production decreased by 0.1% in October
- Household debt rose by $351 billion during Q3
Top Three Market Headlines
Housing Market Slowdown Intensifies: Data released last week provided further evidence of slowing housing market activity as mortgage rates remain near multi-decade highs. Existing home sales declined in October for the ninth straight month, falling 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.43 million units. This represented a decrease of 28.4% versus the number of sales in October of last year. In addition, the number of housing starts dropped in October by 4.2% from the month prior, while the number of building permits issued for new housing units, an indicator of future construction activity, fell 2.4%.
Industrial Production Eases: The Federal Reserve reported last week that U.S. industrial production decreased by 0.1% in October from the prior month, the fourth decline in the last six months. Compared to the prior year production increased by 3.3%. The monthly decline was keyed by another drop in utilities output, which has fallen for three straight months. Capacity utilization followed the same trend, decreasing by 0.2 percentage points on the month to 79.9%, its lowest level in four months.
Household Debt Surges: According to a report released by the Federal Reserve last week, household debt increased at the fastest pace in 15 years during Q3. Total debt escalated by $351 billion during the period, representing a 2.2% quarterly change and bringing the collective amount in the U.S. to a record $16.5 trillion. Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, climbed $282 billion over the quarter, reflecting the sharp increase in borrowing costs. Credit card balances, another major component, rose $38 billion, or 15% year-over-year, the largest jump in more than 20 years.
Please note: There will be no Weekly Market Update published next Monday, November 28. We would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!