Several disinflationary reports came out today that will help the Fed not feel pressured to announce a rate hike more than the presumed 1/4% at the conclusion of their two day meeting tomorrow.
The first is that employer costs marginally shrank last quarter another 0.2%, meaning that it’s costing less to run a business. This could be due to shrinking supply, manufacturing, and utility costs; or it could be a result of layoffs or reduced carrying costs due to lower interest rates.
The second is the Case Shiller Home Price Index which shows that in 20 metropolitan areas around the country, values are up 6.8% more than a year ago. The previous reading showed a 8.7% gain. Interestingly. the National Association of Realtors’ data shows that prices are only up 2.3% over the same period. This still represents the 130th consecutive month (ten years and ten months) that home prices have risen on a year-over-year scale–which is an historic record price appreciation streak.
Having come down between 6-11% from last summer’s highs, five national firms believe that home prices have bottomed. There are 24 leading market researcher teams who feel that prices have further to fall. What people believe will have an awful lot to do with which datasets they review, as the stats vary widely.