Janet Yellen Upbeat on US Economy Except Housing

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is upbeat on the U.S. economy for the most part, but there’s one sector that causes her some concern: Housing.

“One cautionary note, though, is that readings on housing activity — a sector that has been recovering since 2011 — have remained disappointing so far this year and will bear watching,” she told the Joint Economic Committee in prepared remarks Wednesday.

The housing sector was a key part of the economic recovery last year but has since fallen short of economists’ expectations.

Building permits — a gauge of future home construction — fell 2.4% in March, and existing home sales were flat. Economists had expected both these indicators would improve more, especially after blizzards and a cold winter put the housing sector largely on hold.

Yellen cautioned that the warmer weather may not be enough to turn things around.

“The recent flattening out in housing activity could prove more protracted than currently expected rather than resuming its earlier pace of recovery,” she said.

via CNN

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza