Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed Wednesday that smaller interest rate increases are likely ahead even as he sees progress in the fight against inflation as largely inadequate.
Home sales declined for the ninth straight month in October, as higher interest rates and surging inflation kept buyers on the sidelines. Sales of previously owned homes dropped 5.9% from September to October, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the slowest pace since December 2011, with the exception of a very brief drop at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As mortgage rates have risen this year, the buyer demand for homes has fallen. That has spelled trouble for the home construction business. Homebuilder confidence dropped for the tenth straight month in October. The decline in builder sentiment reflects what economist Ian Shepherdson describes as “housing … in free fall.
As mentioned in a previous post, when I have looked at previous right to left, and left to right political swings, they seem to happen globally, and they seem to happen roughly at the same time. A global shift left happened in the 1930s, and kept shifting until 1970s, when it began to shift back to the right. We are now well into a shift back to the left, that began in 2016. As also highlighted, modern democracies are filled with checks and balances to slow political shifts, but they still happen.
A normally dry research report jolted the gold market this week, when it pointed to massive but so far unidentified sovereign buyers. Central banks bought 399 tons of bullion in the third quarter, almost double the previous record, according to the World Gold Council. Just under a quarter went to publicly identified institutions, stoking speculation about mystery buyers.