New Economic Reports Reveal More Uncertainty
Consumers got more grim economic news August 23 when the Commerce Department announced that sales of new homes fell to a five-month low in July. The sales dropped to 0.7 percent that month to a 298,000-unit annual rate, the agency said.
In the 12 months before July, sales of new homes rose 6.8 percent. When polled by Reuters, economists had predicted sales at a 310,000-unit rate, the news source reported. The median prices of new homes sold in July 2011 was $222,000, but the average sales price was $272,300, according to the Commerce Department.
July's lackluster pace left the supply of new homes on the market at 6.6 months at the current sales rate, it said.
Elsewhere August 23, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Virginia) announced that manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic dropped in August after stalling in July. More manufacturers expected slower future growth for all future activity indicators.