Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Afternoon Links

1. Detroit metro area home sales increased 13.2% in July vs. last year, and the median sale price increased 17%.

2. Natural gas spot prices fell this week to $2.64 per million BTUs, the lowest since mid-June more than two months ago.  

3. Rates for 30-year mortgages fell 7 basis points this week to 3.59%.

4. Data Quick: National home sales over the last 30 days increased 9.7% above last year.

5. Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2% in July YoY and reached a new all-time monthly record high of $9.62 billion. The July increase was the 30th consecutive monthly increase in real consumer expenditure on a YOY basis starting in February 2010. 

6. July home sales in San Antonio increased 13% vs. last year, and the median price was up by 4.6%. 

7. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Filling Station Opens in Akron, OH Selling CNG at Equivalent Gas Price of $1.95 per Gallon.  

8. New York might not allow fracking in its state, but it sure likes to guzzle down frack-produced natural gas from Pennsylvania and other states.  John Hanger points out that NY's natural gas consumption increased 18.6% in the first half of 2012, and it consumes 10% more than neighboring Pennsylvania, and points out the following hypocrisy:

"New York guzzles gas everyday and supports fracking with its purchases, whether or not it does its part to meet America's energy needs."

9. Another stunning fact from John Hanger: "A seven-well pad in Morris Township has produced 23 billion cubic feet of gas. Of that total, the top producing single well in the Commonwealth has provided 6 billion cubic feet.  A true gusher!

Since the annual, average residential gas consumption in Philadelphia is about 87,000 cubic feet, this prolific well pad has supplied enough gas for 264,000 residential gas accounts in Philadelphia for a full year.  That's more than half of the homes using gas in Philadelphia and is just amazing!"

10. From this week's rail traffic report: Lumber shipments were up 21% last week and are up 12.6% YTD (to supply an increase in new home construction?), oil shipments increased 56% for the week and are up 41% YTD, and motor vehicle shipment were up 7% for the week and are up 20.5% YTD.  


At 8/31/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2% in July."

It may be a blip rather than a sustained improvement:

Consumer Sentiment Improves as U.S. Merchants Discount: Economy
August 31, 2012

"The index of consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, fell to 65.1 from 65.6 in July.

That drop is more in line with other confidence measures that were depressed by more gloomy projections. New York- based Conference Board’s index decreased to 60.6 in August, the lowest level since November, from a revised 65.4 the prior month, figures from the private research group showed this week.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index hovered close to a seven-month low last week, according to figures reported yesterday.

“A major source of uncertainty is about when the fiscal cliff will be bridged, and who will bear the burden,” Richard Curtin, chief economist for the consumer sentiment survey, said in a statement. “This uncertainty will increasingly cause consumers to become more cautious spenders.”"

At 8/31/2012 9:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Also, annual real consumer spending is at pre-recession levels, and rising (at last count, $2.112 trillion dollars spent in the 12 months ending in July!)

At 8/31/2012 9:22 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

When I was looking for a new car a month ago, one of the things I did was test drive the new natural gas powered Honda Civic. Beautiful car, but the price tag is a little high. It's a $30,000 car! By comparison, a regular Civic is about half that price. As much as I'd like to see natual gas powered cars take off, I think the price needs to come down some, first.

At 8/31/2012 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7 Horizontal multi-stage fraced wells producing 23 BCF of gas is NOT amazing. That's 3.6 BCF/well. A Horizontal multi-stage well in the Marcellus is quite likely to have cost 7 million to drill & complete. Add in the lease cost (which could be low or outrageous depending on when it was purchased). And you quite likely have barely broken even on the sunk cost.

At 9/01/2012 1:56 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It may be a blip in the context of the slow recovery and slowing expansion.

Real PCE should be much higher, given the economy is underproducing by $1 trillion a year.

At 9/01/2012 7:34 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Post has been updated to say that "The July increase was the 30th consecutive monthly increase in real consumer expenditure on a YoY basis starting in February 2010."

I don't think that 30 consecutive monthly increase would be a blip, but rather a sustained, ongoing improvement.

At 9/01/2012 9:22 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

Looks like Obama will be re-elected......


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