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NWQWM Financial report

Weekly jobless claims unexpected moved higher last week despite hopes that the U.S. labor market is poised for a strong recovery heading into the fall.  Initial filings for unemployment insurance totaled 419,000 for the week ended July 17, well above the 350,000 Dow Jones estimate. On the positive side, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, declined by 29,000 to 3.24 million, a fresh pandemic low.


After four straight months of declines, sales of previously owned homes rose 1.4% in June month-to-month to a seasonally adjust annualized rate of 5.86 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.  These sales represent closings, so they are based on contracts signed in April and May.  Sales were 22.9% higher compared with June 2020. That annual comparison, according to the Realtors, is still slightly skewed due to pandemic lockdowns in certain parts of the country that lasted into summer last year.  The inventory of homes for sale at the end of June was 1.25 million, representing a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace. That is a slight improvement from May’s 2.5-month supply.


A gauge of future U.S. economic activity increased in June, suggesting the economy continued to recover from the recession.  The Conference Board said their index of leading economic indicators (LEI) rose 0.7% last month to 115.1, topping its previous peak reached in May.

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