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The Hill and Griffith Company's News Blog


Posted by Samantha Farris on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Mixed Data Point To Stronger Growth When Winter Weather Ends

(3/26) reports that positive data on consumer confidence and housing prices on
Tuesday was offset by a drop in new home sales. Still, Reuters says that the
economy is poised for stronger growth once the harsh winter ends. Looking at
the reports, the Conference Board reported that its index of consumer attitudes
rose to 82.3 in March from 78.3 in February, notching its highest reading since
January 2008. That number is well above the 78.6 expected by economists. Bloomberg
(3/26, Peralta) says that the rise in consumer confidence was
“propelled by improved optimism about the economy’s prospects, signaling growth
will strengthen after a weather-related slowdown.”

Bloomberg News (3/26, Stilwell) reports that housing prices “climbed at a slower pace
in the year through January... indicating momentum in the housing market may be
cooling.” Still, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of housing prices in 20 major
metropolitan areas rose 13.2 percent this January over January 2013. Economists
expected a 13.3 percent increase. January’s prices were up 0.8 percent over

The WallStreet Journal (3/26, House, Subscription Publication) reports that
Commerce Department data shows the sales of new homes fell 3.3 percent in
February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units. That’s below
the 445,000 rate expected by economists. In addition, January’s originally
reported strong increase was revised downward. The Journal says that the data
is a sign that harsh weather and rising mortgage rates impacted the housing
recovery in recent months.

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