US: New home sales and jobless claims in the limelight - Nomura

Research Team at Nomura points out that the initial jobless claims and new home sales will be the key economic releases from today’s US session.

Key Quotes

Initial jobless claims: Initial claims remain at historically low levels after a continued decline during the recovery. For the week ending 11 March, the 4-week average of initial claims was at 237k, up only marginally from the prior week. As labor market conditions remain healthy, we continue to expect this series to remain low.”

New home sales: New home sales rebounded in January, increasing 3.7% to an annualized rate of 555k. However, incoming data suggest some moderation in this series in February. Sales of single family homes index in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing survey inched downward slightly, but remained at an elevated level. However, mortgage applications for home purchases fell modestly, in part, due to higher mortgage rates which picked up after the election. In addition, the latest NAHB report indicates that industry headwinds such as labor shortage and supply-side constraints still persist. Therefore, we forecast a 0.5% m-o-m increase to an annualized rate of 558k (Consensus: +1.8% to an annual rate of 565k).”

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