Monday, January 21, 2013

Today's Numbers: Homebuyers and Skylights Rising, Jobless Claims, Lobbyists

Home shoppers are on the prowl

From Saturday's Washington Post:
"There is growing evidence, anecdotal and statistical, that there are more shoppers on the prowl in many parts of the country than is customary this time of year, more people requesting "preapproval" letters from mortgage companies, more people visiting Web sites offering homes for sale.... Coldwell Banker, one of the largest brokerages in the country, says traffic to its listings Web site was up 38 percent during the past month.... ZipRealty... reports that its Web site has seen an unusual 33 percent increase in home shoppers in the first half of January compared with December."
Much more here.

Growth in residential skylights in 2012: up 6.5 percent

From the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and The Window & Door Manufacturers Association:
 "Residential skylights are expected to close the year at more than 900,000 units, a growth rate of 6.5 percent over the 2011 volume. New construction skylight activity has proven to be greater than expected at 23.3 percent, while remodeling and replacement skylight activity has fallen behind initial expectations at 2.9 percent growth."
More here.

Decrease in jobless claims, week before last: down by 37,000

Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits in the week ending January 12 than in five years, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. From Bloomberg:
"Fewer claims indicate businesses have grown comfortable with their current headcounts, a necessary development before hiring starts to pick up. At the same time, higher payroll taxes that shrink paychecks may prompt companies to hold the line on expanding headcount should Americans cut back on discretionary spending."

dept of curiosity: Number of D.C.-based lobbyists working for biotechnology firm: 74

From the Washington Post:
"Just weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud cause, Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the 'fiscal cliff' bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs."

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