Financial and Economic Brief - November 28, 2017by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.
Consumer Sentiment Rose More Than Expected
U.S. consumer sentiment saw “slight” gains in November compared to the mid-month reading, though the index remained below the decade high reached in October. The University of Michigan's survey rose to 98.5, but the measure was forecast by economists to hit 98. According to Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, “The indicator has remained largely unchanged in 2017, which reflects American consumers’ increasing confidence and certainty about their income and employment prospects. Furthermore he noted, [the] “Increased certainty about future income and job prospects has become a key factor that has supported discretionary purchases.”
Publisher of Time Agrees to Be Sold
The publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated agreed yesterday to be sold to another big magazine publisher, Meredith. The deal is valued at $1.84 billion based on the offering price and number of shares of Time outstanding on September 30. Meredith said it values the deal at $2.8 billion. “We are creating a premier media company serving nearly 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile and social platforms positioned for growth,” said Meredith CEO Stephen Lacy. Time has been struggling because advertising revenue and circulation have been falling as readers move to Internet content.
New Home Sales at 10-Year High
According to the U.S. Commerce Department sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose 6.2% in October, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units, amid strong demand across the country. Economists polled had forecast new home sales falling 6.0% but have now increased for three straight months. That together with October’s increase in homebuilding and sales of previously owned homes indicates the housing market could be regaining momentum after “treading water” for much of 2017. More than two-thirds of the new homes sold in October were either under construction or yet to be started.