Markets in a Minute | November 20

Fed minutes show that members see a slowly improving economy. Concerns about labor and inflation remain. Rate increases are likely to come gradually next year.

Producer inflation increased slightly in October. Sluggish inflation supports the Fed concern and puts downward pressure on rates.

On the other hand, October retail sales made up for September’s decline. This and other improving consumer trends could push the Fed’s rate increase forward.

After an October dip, home builder confidence is back up to its second highest level of the year. Current and future home sales fueled the boost.

October housing starts declined slightly off September’s spike. Permits, however, rose more than expected. Though volatile, housing data shows improvement.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist adds to the positive predictions for 2015. He expects a 20% increase in housing starts and 5% growth in home sales.

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence. 

Erma Bombeck

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