Two comments: Net petroleum imports, and a house price forecast.
Early this morning I posted a graph showing the large net imports of petroleum. Many people have heard the the US is now a net exporter, but that is just of refined petroleum products. The US is still a very large importer of crude oil. For an explanation, see Jim Hamilton’s U.S. net exports of petroleum products
“The first thing to understand about this number is that it refers only to net exports of refined petroleum products, calculated for example by subtracting the amount of gasoline that the U.S. imports from the amount of gasoline that we export. These imports or exports of refined products are far smaller in magnitude than the imports of crude oil, which is the raw material from which refined products are made.”
And a research note from Chris Flanagan, Michelle Meyer and Justin Borst at Merrill Lynch: Someone say house party?
Home prices continue to show momentum amid shrinking inventory and record high affordability, prompting us to revise up our forecast for home prices this year. We now expect national home prices, as defined by the S&P Case Shiller home price index, to increase 8.0% this year (q4/q4). This follows the 7.3% gain in 2012. … our forecast now assumes faster near-term appreciation, but slower growth in the out years. Our forecast for the cumulative appreciation over the next ten years is little changed.
Friday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Employment Report for February will be released. The consensus is for an increase of 171,000 non-farm payroll jobs in February; the economy added 157,000 non-farm payroll jobs in January. The consensus is for the unemployment rate to decrease to 7.8% in February.
• At 10:00 AM, Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for January. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in inventories.