For December, new home sales spiked to 621,000 from 599,000 in November. This data was delayed and at this point is pretty old. For the same month construction spending, also delayed, was down .6%; twice what was expected. It is difficult to gauge the strength or weakness of the economy with the delayed reports from the government shutdown still plaguing the numbers. Yesterday, February’s ‘Markit’ PMI came in at a very healthy 56 from 56.2, and February’s ISM index for non-manufacturing was a very healthy 59.7% from 56.7 the month before.
Those experts that expected a much weaker fourth quarter were wrong as most expected a sub 2% GDP number when it came in at 2.6% with the full year at 2.9%. That number will be revised. Still the economy is hitting on all cylinders and this week we will get the most recent month jobs report. That is likely to be less than the very large number in January.
The economy remains on track but of course all the data is looking backward.