Debt Ceiling; Housing
January 23, 2014
Debt Ceiling Discussions Nearer than Expected; Existing Home Sales Up; PMI Down
On the Hill
- On Wednesday, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew issued a letter to Speaker John Boehner indicating that the debt ceiling will need to be raised earlier than anticipated. Although the last debt ceiling vote passed without Democratic concessions, during the upcoming vote, Republican House members will likely demand that spending cuts accompany an increase of the debt limit.
- The White House has announced that more than 6.3 million people have been determined eligible for CHIP and Medicaid since the beginning of ACA open enrollment. This total does not include eligible enrollees from the federal-run exchanges in 36 states. At this time, the administration is unable to distinguish newly-insured enrollees from those who were previously covered under other plans.
Initial jobless claims, which show the number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance for the first time, remained stable at 326,000 this week. The four-week moving average decreased to 331,500.
The Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index assesses private sector conditions by tracking output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices. The January PMI Manufacturing Index is 53.7, a decline from the final December reading of 55.0.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index provides a weighted average of 85 existing economic indicators. Growth declined in December to 0.16, down from 0.60 in the previous month.
- Existing Home Sales increased 1.0% in December at an annual rate of 4.87 million units.
- Amidst emerging terrorist threats aimed at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, U.S. security officials have offered to share security equipment and military support with Russia to forestall a potential attack. Though the United States has publicly expressed confidence in Russia’s security capabilities, American military and security officials are privately readying warships, helicopters and amphibious vehicles to be deployed in the event of an emergency.