Rocket Fuel Newsletter – 04/22/2024

Did you hear Lennon and McCartney released a new single? Not that Lennon and McCartney. Well, kind of... James McCartney and Sean Ono Lennon teamed up to write “Primrose Hill,” which dropped April 15. 

In this edition: how to get involved with the NFL Draft this week, existing home sales drop and home prices increase, and part two of our three-part series on inflation.  

Here’s the new Lennon/McCartney jam to put on while you read! 
Fuel Up! 🚀   

Who’s Your Dreammate™? 

Behind every dream is a Dreammate. As the NFL Draft approaches this week, Rocket aims to inspire those relentlessly chasing their dreams by acknowledging the valuable role of mentors, confidants and motivators in bringing aspirations to life – recognizing that every dream thrives with a robust support network.  

For Chanel Shaba at Beyond Lending, that Dreammate is her mom. 

Head to Instagram and TikTok to reply with your Dreammate, and be sure to tag @RocketProTPO and use the hashtag #RocketDreammate.

Each time the hashtag #RocketDreammate is used on TikTok or Instagram now through the end of the 2024 NFL Draft on April 27, Rocket Mortgage will make a $10 contribution to Habitat for Humanity up to $250,000, which will help bring to life the dream of homeownership for some deserving Americans across the country.

Last Chance To Register For Pro Talks Featuring Kirk Herbstreit! 

The clock is ticking, and it’s your last chance to sign up for a one-of-a-kind experience! Fawaz will sit down with legendary sports analyst Kirk Herbstreit to discuss the lessons Kirk has learned from his extensive experience as an analyst, what it takes to win in business, and how his Dreammate has impacted his life. 

Sign up here!

Existing Home Sales Fall, Prices Increase 

The housing market continues to live in a state of high interest rates and low inventory, based on data released this week by Freddie Mac and the National Association of REALTORS®. Despite housing inventory increasing from last month, it’s still 2 million units under pre-pandemic levels. 

How close are we to healthy housing inventory levels? 

In part one of our inflation series, Inflation 101, we explored what inflation is and what influences the key metric. In part two, we dive deeper into the different reports that when viewed together tell the story on inflation.  

There are three key reports that measure inflation in the United States.   

  • Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE)  
    • What is it? A reflection of changes in prices of goods and services purchased by consumers by measuring the average prices that people pay for them.  
    • Who prepares it? Bureau of Economic Analysis.  
    • How often is it prepared? Monthly. 
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI)  
    • What is it? Measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services such as food, housing, and transportation.  
    • Who prepares it? Bureau of Labor Statistics.  
    • How often is it prepared? Monthly. 
  • Producer Price Index (PPI)  
    • What is it? The average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output.  
    • Who prepares it?  Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
    • How often is it prepared? Monthly.   

The two most important reports are PCE and CPI. While they track similar things and tell a similar story, there are some big differences between the reports.  

CPI is made up of 80,000 items in a fixed basket of goods and services with the intent of representing what Americans are buying to sustain their everyday life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks these items through a yearly survey sent out to families. The spending weights are updated once a year (prior to 2023, it was every other year).  

CPI was first published in 1921 and was the first report to track inflation in the United States. Because of this, it is the most recognized inflation report and serves as a historical benchmark.  

PCE came onto the scene nearly 40 years later and is instead based off the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This allows for the report to be updated monthly and is therefore more current than CPI.  

PCE is more balanced than CPI due to its dynamic weighting, allowing it to better represent consumer patterns. Also, the index includes renters’ and homeowners’ housing costs, while CPI focuses mainly on renters.

Since PCE is more up to date and balanced than CPI, it is the preferred method for measuring inflation by the Fed. Most importantly, PCE is what the Fed’s 2% inflation goal is based on. However, CPI and PPI are still important and help tell the full story of inflation, and they allow the Fed to make informed decisions when setting monetary policy.  

Next week will be the third and final chapter of our inflation series where we wrap up by discussing the current state of inflation. Stay tuned!  

Leaders from all areas of Rocket Pro TPO gathered in Detroit last week for an on-site focused on helping our partners grow their business, leadership development, and our rallying cry: Earn the Partnership.  

  1. New Residential Construction, March 2024 
  1. Builder Sentiment Unchanged in April 
  1. Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services, March 2024 
  1. Freddie Mac Multifamily Enhances Policies 
  1. Jerome Powell: On Inflation & Interest Rates 

We had seven players complete last week’s puzzle in a minute or less, but none came anywhere near Michael Bazavilvazo’s time of 17 seconds. Shoutout to all of our other solvers, including one who solved under the name Steve Jobs – Pro Puzzles clearly either attracts ghosts or creativity! 

This week’s puzzle gets 3 Rockets out of 5. 

Click here to solve!