Research & Advice

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Economy Growing No Better Than Trend

Data as provided by Ned Davis Research

According to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, the economy is growing a little below trend…There were downward revisions to each of the four months this year; all are now below zero, indicating below trend growth.  The index rose 0.01 points in April to -0.10, while the three-month average rose to 0.16 from a revised -0.43.  In April, negative contributions from employment, consumption and housing, and sales more than offset a positive contribution from production and income.  Only 32 of the 85 indicators made a positive contribution, while 34 improved over the prior month. 

Commercial Real Estate to Slow Further

The NAR’s Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity rose just 0.2% last quarter, bringing the year/year change down 0.8% from 1.7%, the slowest growth since Q3, indicating a sharp slowing in future activity.  This is consistent with recent data showing a steadying in vacancy rates…

Booming Business Loan Demand

Commercial and industrial loan demand has soared 4% in the past 13 weeks, the most since Labor Day, and half of that in the past four weeks.  These loans are typically used for capital spending, inventory financing, general working capital needs, as well as M&A activity, which probably explains at least part of the recent surge.