- U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 315,000 in August
- The S&P Core-Logic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose at an 18.6% annual rate in June
- The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil fell 17% over the three months ended 8/31/2022
Top Three Market Headlines
Payrolls Growth Moderates in August: The U.S. Department of Labor reported last week that nonfarm payrolls rose by 315,000 in August, slightly ahead of economists' expectations but down from the 526,000 additions recorded in July. At the same time, the number of gains in June was revised down from a previously-reported figure of 398,000 to just 293,000. The additions in August pushed total nonfarm payroll employment above the pre-pandemic level of February 2020. The largest gains in August were in the professional and business services, health care, and retail sectors. Despite the jobs growth in August, the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.7% as more employees joined the workforce.
U.S. Home Price Growth Eases in June: Home price growth cooled across the nation in June, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. Prices across 20 top metropolitan markets rose 0.4% on the month compared to May, the slowest monthly pace since June of 2020. On a year-over-year basis, prices were 18.6% higher, the second straight month that annual price gains have slowed. Tampa, Miami, and Dallas reported the highest year-over-year gains in June. The deceleration in prices is a sign that the housing market is slowing amid rising mortgage interest rates, which have nearly doubled from a year ago.
Summer Swoon for Oil Prices: After rising nearly 50% from the start of the year through the end of May, crude oil prices have now declined for three consecutive months. Futures contracts for Brent crude oil, the main international price benchmark, ended August at $96.46 a barrel, down 17% from $116.27 as of May 31st. Despite lower supplies of oil in the market, prices have fallen amid declining consumption and expectations that slowing global economic growth will pressure future demand. The recent swoon in oil prices contrasts with another key energy commodity, natural gas, prices of which have jumped nearly 70% over the past two months — hitting a 14-year high in late August mdash; in reaction to higher demand and lower stockpiles.