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.

Fed Survey Confirms Broader Economic Improvement

By Michael Neal Information provided by the Federal Reserve Board in its October 2017 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 suggests that that the loan stock of C&I loans …

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Private Inventories Contribute to Q3 GDP Growth

By Michael Neal The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.0 percent over the third quarter on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis. However, residential fixed investment (RFI) fell by 6.0 percent over the quarter. Despite the decline in the RFI component, the contribution of gross private investment to GDP growth rose, …

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Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Current Range Deemed “Accommodative”

By Michael Neal On Wednesday, November 1, the Federal Open Markets Committee (“FOMC”) decided to leave its interest rate, the federal funds rate, unchanged at a range of 1.00 to 1.25 percent. Although the effects of the past hurricanes have reversed the longer trend in both employment and inflation, the hurricanes’ impacts are expected to fade and the longer-trend will …

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Jerome Powell Nominated to Lead the Fed

By Michael Neal President Trump has nominated Jerome H. Powell to be the next Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In his role as Chairman of the Board of Governors (“the Board”), Mr. Powell would also chair the Federal Open Markets Committee (“FOMC”), the monetary policy decision making body composed of the other Federal Reserve …

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Residential Construction Lower on Hurricanes: Trends Remain in Place

By Michael Neal Information released jointly by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau indicates that total housing starts fell by 4.7 percent reflecting a 4.6 percent decline in single-family starts and a 5.1 percent drop in multifamily starts. This release reflects three dynamics, the impact of the recent hurricanes, the continued national trend growth in …

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Gas Prices Drive Overall Inflation

By Michael Neal According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted consumer prices faced by urban consumers (CPI) accelerated over the month of September 2017 reflecting an increase in the rate of gasoline price growth. However, the pace of acceleration slowed over the month reflecting in part a slowdown in the growth of shelter prices. Excluding the more volatile …

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Mortgage Rates on New Home Purchases Remain Low

By Michael Neal The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that contract rates on purchases of newly-built homes rose 7 basis points over the month of August 2017 to 4.01 percent. The average mortgage rate on purchases of newly built homes is 47 basis points above the low touched in October 2017. However, it remains 17 basis points below the recent …

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GDP Growth in Q2 Ticks Up With Third Estimate

By Michael Neal The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third estimate of the nation’s economy for the second quarter of 2017. According to the release, faster economic growth was maintained over the second quarter. The nation’s economy, measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 3.1 percent over the April to June period. This rate of …

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