Saturday , 17 February 2018

Michael Neal

Michael Neal
Michael Neal is a Senior Economist at the National Association of Home Builders based in Washington D.C. In this capacity, Mr. Neal’s research involves monitoring housing finance issues that impact the U.S. housing market. As a housing economist, Mr. Neal has provided expert analysis and commentary on housing to media outlets around the country. Prior to joining NAHB, Michael worked at the Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, the Federal Reserve, the Congressional Budget Office and Goldman Sachs. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Morehouse College, an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Inflation Steady with Growth in January

By Michael Neal The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a measure of inflation, its Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, similar to the 12-month rate of growth recorded in December. Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes the more volatile energy and food prices, rose by 1.8 percent, also matching its …

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Fed Survey Confirms Broader Economic Improvement, But Concerns Exist

By Michael Neal Information provided by the Federal Reserve Board in its January 2018 release of the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) indicates that lending standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to large and medium-sized firms continue to ease on net. The continued easing in standards on C&I loans increase the stock of loans, which in turns fuels …

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Interest Rates Rise

By Michael Neal According to the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, contract rates on 30-Year fixed rate mortgages ticked up one basis point in December 2017 to 4.01 percent. Information provided by Freddie Mac, a more commonly used series, showed a similar trend over the month of December with its contract rate on the …

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Fed Stands Pat at Chair Yellen’s Final FOMC Meeting

By Michael Neal In Janet Yellen’s final meeting as Chair, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC or Committee) voted unanimously to maintain the federal funds rate, its short-term policy rate, at a range of 1.25 percent and 1.50 percent, a level it deems “accommodative”. According to estimates of financial markets expectations, this decision was widely expected. Calculations of the appropriate …

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Pending Sales Rise in December

By Michael Neal According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHS), signed contracts for existing homes rose 0.5% nationwide over the month of December 2017. According to the NAR, the PHS, a leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and …

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Economy Grows for 8th Consecutive Year

By Michael Neal According to a release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Despite the slowdown, GDP growth over all of 2017 accelerated to 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent rate of growth in 2016. The …

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Despite December Decline, New Home Sales End 2017 Higher

By Michael Neal According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes moderated in December 2017, giving back a portion of the gains accrued in November. Over the month of December, sales of new single-family homes fell by 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000 following …

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Mortgages Rates Rise in 2017 But Remain Low

By Michael Neal Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes rose 7 basis points in November to 4.00 percent. At this level, rates remain below the 4.18 cycle peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates rose …

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