- U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 187,000 in August
- The Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose 0.9% in June versus the prior month
- Personal consumption rose 0.8% in July
Top Three Market Headlines
Employment Growth Weakens: The Labor Department reported last week that employers in the U.S. added 187,000 jobs in August, more than economists' expectation of 170,000. However, previously-announced totals for July and June were revised downward considerably by a total of 110,000. Over the past three months, 150,000 jobs have been added on average, down from a 238,000 average gain from March through May. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for August rose to 3.8%, up from 3.5% in July, while average hourly wages rose at a 4.3% annual pace, little changed from a 4.4% pace in July.
Home Prices Continue to Stabilize: Home prices rose in June for the fourth straight month after having declined for eight consecutive months beginning in mid-2022. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index released last week, prices increased 0.9% in June versus the prior month, and were down just 1.2% compared to the prior year, an improvement from the 1.7% annual decline in May. On a year-over-year basis, the largest gains were recorded in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, while the weakest trends were seen in the Western region, with San Francisco (-9.7%) and Seattle (-8.8%), in particular, experiencing drastic price drops.
Spending Rises as Consumers Tap Savings: The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported last week that personal consumption expenditures (PCE), a measure of consumer spending for all goods and services, rose 0.8% in July versus June. This was the largest monthly increase in six months and followed a solid pace 0.6% in June as well. The jump in July primarily centered on services, particularly financial services and insurance. The latest spending surge, however, has been largely supported by consumers dipping into their savings, as growth in personal income lagged that of expenditures for the second consecutive month.