4/17: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Initial unemployment claims dip to 5.3 million in weekly report

In the week ending April 11, initial unemployment claims were 5,245,000, a decrease of 1,370,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,508,500, an increase of 1,240,750 from the previous week’s revised average.  Over the last four weeks, a total of 22 million initial claims have been received.



Housing starts fell 22.3 percent in March, but up 1.4 percent year-on-year

Privately‐owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000, down 22.3 percent from February but up 1.4 percent year-on-year.



Building permits down 6.8 percent in March, but up 5.0 percent year-on-year

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,353,000, down 6.8 percent from February but up 5.0 percent year-on-year.



Economic Sentiment Index rebounds 2.5 points on talk about reopening economy

Consumer economic sentiment rebounded slightly from a historic low over the last two weeks as the stock market showed signs of recovery and as government officials began discussing when and how to reopen the economy. Following the last reading’s record-shattering drop, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) inched upwards, rising 2.5 points to 42.6. The newest reading now marks the second-lowest reading in the ESI’s history.



Pre-pandemic homes prices up 0.6 percent in February and 4.1 percent year-on-year

CoreLogic:  Home prices increased nationally by 4.1 percent from February 2019, for the highest annual increase in more than a year. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.6 percent in February 2020.