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    Economic Insights

    Economic Insights covers topics that may ultimately have an impact on commercial real estate conditions including the labor market, population trends, monetary policy announcements from the Federal Reserve and national budgetary issues.

    Featured report

    Office Employment Softens, but that Won’t Dissuade the Fed from a March Hike

    March 10, 2017

    Janet Yellen’s comments early in March had suggested that a 25 bps increase in the Fed Funds rate to 0.75% - 1.00% was all but certain next week, and today’s report will do little to dissuade the Committee that the labor market has strengthened sufficiently to remove further policy accommodation.

     

    Research search results: 41 found

     
    June Office Employment Rebounds, But Growth Is Slowing

    June Office Employment Rebounds, But Growth Is Slowing

    July 11, 2016

    June’s nonfarm payroll report produced a welcome sigh of relief. Despite employment figures for May that were even weaker than initially reported, June’s report showed a healthy gain of 287,000 workers overall, and a 265,000 gain in the private sector. While some of the headline figure’s strength reflected a rebound in information sector hiring as striking Verizon employees returned to work (a +28,100 advance in telecommunications payrolls in June almost offset a 32,000 loss in May), the composition of payrolls in the office-using segment suggests some degree of slowing.

     
     
     
    The FOMC Holds Rates Steady Amid Slowing Labor Market

    The FOMC Holds Rates Steady Amid Slowing Labor Market

    June 15, 2016

    The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to hold the target range for the Federal Funds rate at 0.25% to 0.50%. In its press release, the FOMC referenced the less-than-stellar May payrolls figure, noting a slower pace of improvement in the labor market as well as “diminished” job gains even as growth in economic activity “picked up.” While the drag from net exports appeared to “have lessened,” the statement continued to highlight “soft” business fixed investment.

     
     
     
    Federal Open Market Committee: Still Data Dependent

    Federal Open Market Committee: Still Data Dependent

    June 06, 2016

    Yes, the minutes from April suggested that “most” participants were ready for a June rate hike contingent on strengthening labor market conditions and inflation “progressing” toward two percent, but May’s payroll report and the outcome of the referendum in the U.K. seem to have dampened prospects not only for a rate hike in H2 2016, but also for any hike in H1 2017. Here are some take-aways from the June meeting, but because 1) it was conducted a week prior to the Brexit vote and 2) the new economic growth projections were released immediately following the meeting’s conclusion on June 15th, the minutes are perhaps a bit less relevant than usual.

     
     
     
    May Office Employment: An Aberration or the Start of a Slowdown?

    May Office Employment: An Aberration or the Start of a Slowdown?

    June 03, 2016

    May’s nonfarm payroll report showed a sub-par gain of 38,000 jobs—a figure that drops to just 25,000 jobs if government hiring is excluded.

     
     
     
    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Increased in Most Districts”

    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Increased in Most Districts”

    June 01, 2016

    The Beige Book report for June, which summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve, suggested that economic growth during the most recent period was “modest,” with an uptick in the number of Districts seeing slower or marginal growth. Nonetheless, commercial real estate activity “increased in most Districts,” with greater space absorption in Atlanta and Kansas City. Dallas reported healthy demand for office space.

     
     
     
    Strength in April Office Employment Masks Softening Report Overall

    Strength in April Office Employment Masks Softening Report Overall

    May 06, 2016

    Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 160,000 in April, with net revisions to January’s and February’s figures subtracting 19,000 workers. While the household unemployment rate remained at 5.0%, the participation rate fell back slightly to 62.8%. The average workweek lengthened by 0.1 hours, while average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% MoM and 2.5% YoY, just below the peak annual level of earnings growth observed in December 2015 (2.6% YoY). 

     
     
     
    Federal Open Market Committee: No Change, But June is a Possibility

    Federal Open Market Committee: No Change, But June is a Possibility

    April 27, 2016

    While this may seem like a negligible change in wording, the fact that the FOMC does not view overseas developments as actively threatening U.S. growth suggests the door for a June rate hike is now open, even as the Committee acknowledged what is likely to be a very weak quarter for growth. (Q1 GDP data will be released tomorrow.) Most other assessments were unchanged.

     
     
     
    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Generally Increased”

    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Generally Increased”

    April 18, 2016

    The Beige Book report for April, which summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve, suggested that more Districts reported “moderate” or improved economic activity versus last month’s report. Notably, no District reported a decline in economic growth. 

     
     
     
    Employment Supports June Fed Move

    Employment Supports June Fed Move

    April 01, 2016

    Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in March, with net revisions to January’s and February’s figures subtracting just 1,000 workers. While the household unemployment rate rose to 5.0%, the increase was largely due to growth in the participation rate, which reached a two-year high: the labor force grew by almost 400k, but the number of employed workers rose by just 246,000. (Note that the unemployment rate figures are based on a different survey from the nonfarm payroll count.)

     
     
     
    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Flat to Strong”

    Commercial Real Estate Activity: “Flat to Strong”

    March 03, 2016

    The Beige Book report for March, which summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve, showed a notable change in tone from previous releases. While reports “continued to indicate that economic activity expanded in most Districts,” there was an increase in the number of Districts that reported mixed conditions; one District reported a modest decline in activity. 

     
     
     

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