Market Commentary – Mon, Feb 27 – 11:10 AM ET
The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) reported on Monday that its economists have forecasted that the unemployment rate for 2012 should be around 8.3% down from 8.9% that was reported in November. Within the report it was revealed that builders should break ground on 700,000 new homes this year, up 15% from 2011 and predict 850,000 in 2013.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported reported that Pending Home Sales for January rose by 2% to bring the index to 97.0, the highest level since April of 2010. The NAR said that the upward track in contract activity could be signaling more meaningful sales in 2012.
Home improvement chain Lowe’s reported fourth-quarter net earnings rose by 13%, beating estimates of 24 cents per share coming in at 26 cents. The rise is profits is due in part to warmer weather, which fueled more home projects and construction.
The debt woes in Europe continues today after the G-20 meeting, which is made up of 20 finance ministers and central bankers from the 20 largest world economies, declined to come with bailout funds for the troubled region. There will be no funds available until a firewall is put up or more austerity measures are put into place.
- NABE: U.S. economy to grow at 2.4% rate in 2012 (marketwatch.com)