Home price gains continued in February, though moderation has been seen in some regions. The February Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5.4% from February 2015, below the 5.6% expected. A spokesperson said, “Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers.” The National Home Price Index rose 5.3% year-over-year. However, rising prices and the pace of single-family construction pose a concern throughout the nation.
The Conference Board reported on Tuesday that consumer attitudes towards current economic conditions slipped in April after the gains seen in March. The Consumer Confidence Index slid to 94.2 this month, from the 96.1 recorded in March and below the 96.7 expected. Consumers’ appraisals of the labor market were also mixed. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also declined.
Consumer purchases of long-lasting manufactured goods rose less than expected in March, signaling the sector still continues to drag its feet. U.S. durable orders rose 0.8% last month, below the 1.8% gain expected and after the 3.1% decline in February. The manufacturing sector continues to struggle with a stronger dollar with sluggish demand from overseas. Civilian aircraft orders and orders for motor vehicle parts decreased along with declines for computers, electronic products and appliances.