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A Few Comments on a Possible Government Shutdown


First, shutdowns are expensive, and many government employees continue to work (like the military), but don’t get paid.  

In addition to the closings of National Parks, and many services, we will all be flying mostly blind without reports on employment, inflation, housing starts and more.  However, there will be some private data to fill the gap.  
The employment data for November has already been gathered since the BLS reference week was November 5th through 11th this year (one of the exceptions for when the reference week doesn’t include the 12th).  If there is a shutdown, the first key missing reports will be New Home Sales, GDP and Personal Income & Outlays during the week of November 26th.

For housing, depending on the length of the shutdown, there might be an impact on existing home closings in November. If the shutdown lasts through the end of the month, I’d expect some decline in seasonally adjusted sales in November. If the shutdown only lasts a week or so, there would probably be little impact. Some issues could be Tax transcripts, Flood Certs, and SS# Authorization.

Also, a shutdown increases uncertainty, and that might push up mortgage rates (investors hate uncertainty).   Hopefully a shutdown will be avoided.

Part 2: Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-November

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