3/27: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Initial unemployment claims soar to record 3.28 million in weekly report

In the week ending March 21, initial unemployment claims were 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982. The 4-week moving average was 998,250, an increase of 765,750 from the previous week’s revised average.



Daily dive in consumer confidence lessens, but still down 24.67 percent since start of year

As of Thursday morning, the Morning Consult Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) is at 89.19, falling 0.3 percent from the day before. The U.S. ICS is down 24.67 percent since January 1.



Global Investor Confidence Decreased in March by 4.0 Points to 74.5 due to Covid-19

As the concerns over Covid-19 moved from China to Europe, the Investor Confidence Index has reflected this shift. Rapidly growing case numbers in Europe pushed sentiment down by a marked 15 points, back below the neutral line of 100 for the first time since August. North American sentiment declined from an already low level, hovering near all-time lows as investors wait to see the breadth of fiscal and monetary response. In contrast, however, as the number of active cases in China declined, investor sentiment in Asia actually rebounded in March by 8.7 points, largely reversing February’s decline.



FHFA: Home prices up 0.3 percent in January and 5.2 percent year-on-year

U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.2 percent from January 2019 to January 2020.



4Q19 GDP rose by 2.1 percent in final estimate

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 according to the final estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1 percent.