|US dollar index||88.9||0.0|
|10 Year Govt Bond Yield||1.85%|
|Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA||103|
|Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA||104|
|30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage||3.58|
Stocks are higher this morning as earnings reports pile in. Bonds and MBS are flat.
The first estimate of Q3 GDP came in at +2.9%, which was higher than expected. Inventory and exports drove the increase. This is a sharp rebound after 3 extremely weak reports. Disposable personal income rose 3.6% and the savings rate was flat at 5.7%. This number will be revised at least once before the December Fed meeting.
Inventories and exports are not great indicators of domestic demand, however and that is what really drives the economy. If you strip those two things out, you can see that demand increased, but it wasn’t the blockbuster number that the headline GDP print suggests. This helps explain why GDP growth can be 2.9% (which is a robust expansion) and not feel like it. Consumer spending decelerated in Q3 from 4.3% to 2.1%. Back-to-school numbers for the retailers were disappointing, and this number bears that out.
Employment costs rose 0.6% in the third quarter as comp increased 0.5% and benefits increased 0.7%. Judging by the increase in Obamacare insurance premiums, benefit cost inflation will continue to increase the costs of employees which will act as a damper on wage growth.
Pending home sales increased 1.5% in September, according to the NAR. According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, tight inventory remains a problem: “The one major predicament in the housing market is without a doubt the painfully low levels of housing inventory in much of the country…It’s leading to home prices outpacing wages, properties selling a lot quicker than a year ago 2 and the home search for many prospective buyers being highly competitive and drawn out because of a shortage of listings at affordable prices.” Of course this means the ratio of house prices to income is getting stretched. Wage inflation is needed to maintain these prices.
The US 10 year has gotten hammered over the past month. What is going on? Economic data has generally been soft (today’s GDP report notwithstanding). IMO, we are in the middle of a correction in global bonds. Using the German Bund as proxy for global bonds, you can see that yields have backed up in a big way over the past month. US Treasuries may not necessarily be rising ahead of the December GDP report and may simply be correlating with bond yields overseas. Note that the yield is higher than it was pre-Brexit.