IFR-Preview-NY Fed manufacturing, NAHB indices due Jan 18

WHAT: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Empire State
Manufacturing Survey Index for January
WHEN: Tuesday, 0830 EST (1330 GMT)
FORECASTS Reuters IFR Previous
January index 12.75 12.5 10.57

IFR COMMENTARY: “We see the New York Fed’s manufacturing
survey rising to about +12.50 in January, after a volatile
couple of months that have left it at +10.57. Internals from
last month were fairly weak, though not quite as disastrous as
in November, when the index plunged to -11.14. Despite
generally strong manufacturing surveys from other regions, we
expect that the New York Fed’s measure will be more in line
with modest recent manufacturing output growth and tepid
increases in hours worked in the sector according to BLS
employment figures.

“The employment index in December turned negative (-3.41)
for the first time since the year prior, and the workweek index
has seen double-digit negatives two months in a row. Perhaps
some of this weakness in employment is associated with the weak
inventories numbers of the last few months, but we’ll be
looking carefully to see if manufacturers see enough future
output growth to begin hiring again.”
WHAT: National Association of Home Builders Housing Market
Index for January
WHEN: Tuesday, 1000 EST (1500 GMT)
FORECASTS Reuters IFR Previous
Total Sales 17 15 16

IFR COMMENTARY: “The NAHB Housing Market Index probably had
another unimpressive month, and we look for it to tick down to
15 in January. Mortgage rates have ticked down slightly, but
remain solidly up off their October lows. In turn, purchase
applications have been falling.

“As has been the case for the last few years, it would take
a massive jump to bring the NAHB index out of deeply depressed
territory. As such, new home sales are likely to continue
skipping along near record low levels. At the current pace of
sales, and with foreclosures expected by some to reach slightly
higher numbers in 2011 before turning back down, it will take
years to work off the excess inventory of distressed existing
homes that is putting the squeeze on new home builders.”

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— by Theodore Littleton of IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson