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Wolf Richter

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On his site WOLFSTREET.com, Wolf Richter slices into economic, business, and financial issues, Wall Street shenanigans, complex entanglements, debacles, and opportunities that catch his eye in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and China. He lives in San Francisco.

Wolf Street - The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released today and dubbed “March,” is a three-month moving average of home prices whose sales were entered into public records in January, February, and March. So that’s the time-frame we’re looking at here. It reflects Rate-Cut Mania that commenced in November and peaked February 13, when the first of three […]

Wolf Street - Sales of existing homes of all types were still dogged by the 7% mortgage rates, but a shift has been taking place that took amplitude in April: Many more higher-end homes came on the market and sold, while fewer mid-range homes sold. This shift impacted all kinds of metrics, from inventory for sale to the […]

Wolf Street - Home prices in Canada were unchanged for the second month in a row in April from March, after a series of declines, seasonally adjusted, according to the Composite MLS Home Price Index from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) on Wednesday, as prices of single-family houses inched up 0.1% for the month, while condo prices […]

Wolf Street - Total household debt outstanding ticked up by $184 billion, or by 1.1%, in Q1 from Q4 to $17.7 trillion, on declines in credit card balances, other revolving balances, and student loan balances, according to the Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Fed today: Mortgage debt: +1.6%; to $12.4 trillion HELOC balances: +4.4%; […]

Wolf Street - Seasonally adjusted, prices of used vehicles that were sold at auctions across the US fell 2.3% in April from March, to $18,151, the lowest since April 2021, and down by $5,423 (-23%) from the peak in January 2022, according to today’s Used Vehicle Value Index by Manheim, the largest auto auction house in the US. […]

Wolf Street - The brief and now bygone era of Rate-Cut Mania. Today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, dubbed “February,” is a three-month moving average of home prices whose sales were entered into public records in December, January, and February. Today’s data therefore reflects Rate-Cut Mania that lasted from the beginning of November until February 13, when the […]

Wolf Street - Rental car operator Hertz Global Holdings has had a nasty time in the stock market since it emerged from bankruptcy (filed Chapter 11 in May 2020, emerged on June 30, 2021). The new stock closed on the first day of trading at $26.99, then wobbled lower until the meme-stock crowd briefly fancied it again, and […]

Wolf Street - The core PCE price index, which excludes the volatile components of food and energy and is the inflation index the Fed is focused on, jumped by 3.9% annualized in March from February, nearly double the Fed’s target of 2%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis today (blue in the chart). The three-month annualized core […]

Wolf Street - Mortgage rates continue to trudge higher from the abandoned Rate-Cut-Mania low. The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 7.13% in the latest week, the highest since early December, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association today, as the 10-year Treasury yield has re-surged amid the Fed’s vigorous backpedaling on its December rate-cut visions after […]

Wolf Street - Condo prices in Canada fell 0.7% in March from February, seasonally adjusted, while house prices edged up 0.3%, and so the Composite MLS Home Price Index edged down 0.1%, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. The index has now fallen 14.1% from two years ago, from the peak in March […]

Wolf Street - The Bank of Canada, in its quantitative tightening program, does not cap the roll-off. Whenever Government of Canada bonds in its portfolio mature, the BoC gets paid for them at face value and doesn’t replace them. That’s the roll-off. There are months when nothing in the BoC’s portfolio matures, and there are months when a […]

Wolf Street - Total assets on the Fed’s balance sheet fell by $99 billion in March, to $7.44 trillion, the lowest since February 2021, according to the Fed’s weekly balance sheet today. Since the end of QE in April 2022, the Fed has shed $1.53 trillion. There have been discussions at the Fed about how and when to […]

Wolf Street - Canada’s population jumped by 1.27 million people in 2023, to 40.77 million by January 1, an increase of 3.2% from a year ago, the highest year-over-year growth rate since 1957 (3.3%), Statistics Canada said today in its report on the exploding growth of Canada’s population, driven by a huge wave of immigrants; 98% of the […]

Wolf Street - The home price index for the 20 metros that the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers declined by 0.1% from the prior month, the third month in a row of declines. Year-over-year, the index was up 6.6%. Year-over-year, wait a minute… today’s “January” 2024 reading is three months off the October 2023 peak, while […]

Wolf Street - House prices in Canada were unchanged in February compared to January, seasonally adjusted, having fallen by 15.6% from the peak in February 2022, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. Compared to a year ago, it ticked up 1.6%. In dollar terms, the […]

Wolf Street - By now everyone sort of knows that inflation has been re-heating in a very disconcerting way for months, and that the inflation saga is far from over. There are all kinds of discussions about the future of inflation in the US, and it seems there is a rough common denominator forming: The future of inflation […]

Wolf Street - Gasoline consumption in the US, in terms of product supplied to gas stations, rose by 1.5% in 2023, to 376 million gallons per day. This was down by 3.9% from 2019 and back where it had first been 20 years ago, in 2003, with two big troughs in between. Gasoline consumption is determined by miles […]

Wolf Street - Over the past year or so, the Fed has been intensely discussing inflation in “core services,” which is where inflation had shifted to in 2022, from goods inflation which had spiked into mid-2022 but then cooled dramatically. So “core services” is where it’s at. Core services is where consumers spend the majority of their money. […]

Wolf Street - The overall home price index for the 20 metros that today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers declined by 0.6% from the prior month, the second month in a row of declines. The index formed a double-top with the first peak in June 2022 and the second peak in October 2023. The close-up of the […]

Wolf Street - The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 7.0% in the latest week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association today. The daily measure by Mortgage News Daily has been over 7% for days. These are the highest rates since mid-December, when they were on their way down. Mortgage rates had been flirting with 8% […]

Wolf Street - House prices in Canada overall fell 1.2% seasonally adjusted in January from December. Not seasonally adjusted, they fell 0.4%, having now fallen by 18.3% from the peak in March 2022, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. In dollar terms, the national index […]

Wolf Street - Credit cards are a measure of spending, not a measure of borrowing; they’re the dominant consumer payments method in the US, having largely replaced checks and cash. They’re used to pay for anything, from bar tabs to business trips that get reimbursed – and those can be large amounts. Credit cards were used for $5.8 […]

Wolf Street - The overall home price index for the 20 metros that today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers dipped a hair from the prior month and is now forming a beautiful double-top, after a huge mind-blowing spike. We’re going to get to the individual “most splendid housing bubbles” – as we’ve called them since 2017 to […]

Wolf Street - The year 2023 was supposed to be the year of the recession. It was the most anticipated recession ever, the most hoped-for recession. Starting in 2022 with the initial rate hikes, the “Leading Economic Index” predicted a recession for late 2022; and when that didn’t come, for early 2023; and when that didn’t come, for […]

Wolf Street - Just how tough it is to get inflation down after the easy battles have been temporarily won is now being demonstrated in all kinds of places, including in Canada according to the CPI data released today, and including in the US, where services inflation is in no mood to go away. Services is where the […]
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