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This Week in Economic News: October 19 – October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

Business Formation Statistics

ICYMI: A Rebirth of Entrepreneurialism

  • Over 500,000 new high propensity business applications were made during the third quarter.
  • High propensity business applications, year over year, grew by over 66%. The historical average yearly growth before 2020 Q3 is -0.7%.

(About Business Formation Statistics: Business formation statistics tracks the amount of applications filed to start new businesses. High propensity business applications are applications that are likely to become businesses with payroll.)

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, Housing Starts, & Existing Home Sales

Housing Sector Continues to Lead the Way on Economic Recovery

  • Current sales and future sales expectations continue their rise above historic levels.
  • Housing starts increased by another 2% over September with single family home constructing increasing by 8.5%.
  • Existing home sales increased by an impressive 9.4% over September, held back only by the fact that a record low supply in homes is forcing home prices even higher.

(About the Housing Market Index: The Housing Market Index surveys NAHB members to give a sense of current and future housing market conditions.

About Housing Starts: Housing starts details the amount of new construction of residential buildings.

About Existing Home Sales: Existing home sales measure the amount of sales of previously constructed single-family homes, condos, and co-ops.)

Federal Reserve Beige Book

Beige Book Details Another Month of Increased Economic Activity

  • Economic activity increased in all Federal Reserve Districts.
  • Employment and wages increased in nearly all Districts although difficulty in finding workers remain.
  • Some districts still had difficulty hiring due to unemployment insurance benefits while others noted that the expiration of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits increased the supply of workers for low-skilled positions. One district noted that “One firm reported having to threaten furloughed employees’ healthcare benefits to pressure enough to return to work.”

(About the Federal Reserve Beige Book: The Beige Book provides anecdotal information on the current state of the economy through key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources from each Federal Reserve Bank District.)

Coming Up:

New Home Sales

When: Monday, October 26, 2020

About New Home Sales: New home sales measure the amount of sales of newly constructed single-family homes, condos, and co-ops

Durable Goods

When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

About Durable Goods Orders:  Durable goods orders give a sense of the goods production that will take place in the coming months. An increase in goods orders suggests that manufacturing activity must ramp up in order to meet the needs of an increase in consumer demand. Additional workers, hours worked, or overtime may be needed in order to fill those orders.


When: Thursday, October 29, 2020

About GDP: The growth rate of GDP measures how much the economy, and therefore a nation’s wealth, is growing.

Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment

When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 and Friday, October 30, 2020

About Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment: Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment both survey and measure how consumers feel about the current and near-term economy. As consumers become confident, they are more likely to stimulate the economy through consumer spending. When consumers become less confidence or more uncertain about the economy’s future, they will hold back spending which will slow an economy.

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