According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, new single-family home sales declined 2.0% from 788,000 units at the annual rate in January to 772,000 units in February, a three-month low. Sales strengthened in the Midwest and Northeast. Overall, affordability issues, higher mortgage rates, supply chain problems and workforce shortages continued to challenge the housing market. Single-family home sales have fallen 6.2% over the past 12 months, down from 823,000 units in February 2021, and the supply of new single-family homes for sale on the market rose from 6.1 months in January to 6.3 months in February.
Manufacturing in the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s district continued to expand, with the composite index of general business activity rising from 29 in February to 37 in March, a new all-time high. New orders, production and shipments accelerated in March. The index for prices paid jumped from 64 to 81, a five-month high. Manufacturers cited supply chain disruptions, soaring costs, workforce difficulties and the Ukrainian war as significant challenges.