Home Prices Down 15%

Home prices continued to decline in April, now down more than 15% since April 2007. Predictably, markets like Las Vegas and Miami have been the hardest hit (down 27%!), though all major metropolitan areas are down according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index.

In other good news:

  • Oil continues to hover in the mid-130s, above $136 a barrel today.
  • Consumer confidence is at a 16-year low.
  • Producer prices rose a stunning 1.4% in May (largely on energy costs).
  • Related to producer prices, CNBC reports:

    Over the 12 months through May, producer prices have risen 7.2 percent, marking the eighth consecutive month in which prices rose more than 6.0 percent on a year-on-year basis, the longest stretch since the stagflationary period that ended in 1982, a Labor department official said.

    Ben Bernanke is signaling that he will not raise the Fed funds rate this time around, but pretty soon he’s going to have to start hiking. The inflationary picture just keeps getting uglier, and he’s going to have to choose between the lessor of two evils.

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