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RISING PRICES AND MORTGAGE RATES MAKE HOMEOWNERSHIP UNAFFORDABLE ACROSS MOST OF THE U.S.

RISING PRICES AND MORTGAGE RATES MAKE HOMEOWNERSHIP UNAFFORDABLE ACROSS MOST OF THE U.S.
PR Newswire
IRVINE, Calif., June 30, 2022

Nearly One-Third of Average Wages Required for Major Home-Ownership Expenses During Second Quarter of 2022; Portion o…

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RISING PRICES AND MORTGAGE RATES MAKE HOMEOWNERSHIP UNAFFORDABLE ACROSS MOST OF THE U.S.

PR Newswire

Nearly One-Third of Average Wages Required for Major Home-Ownership Expenses During Second Quarter of 2022; Portion of Wages Consumed by Home Ownership Rises at Fastest Pace This Century; Historic Affordability Plummets to 15-Year Low as Median Home Price Hits $349,000 and Mortgage Rates Top 5 percent

IRVINE, Calif., June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- ATTOM, a leading curator of real estate data nationwide for land and property data, today released its second-quarter 2022 U.S. Home Affordability Report, showing that median-priced single-family homes and condos are less affordable in the second quarter of 2022 compared to historical averages in 97 percent of counties across the nation with enough data to analyze. That was up from 69 percent of counties that were historically less affordable in the second quarter of 2021, to the highest point since 2007, just before the housing market crashed during the Great Recession of the late 2000s.

The report also shows that the portion of average wages nationwide required for major home-ownership expenses has risen this quarter to 31.5 percent as the median price of a single-family home has hit a new high of $349,000 and 30-year mortgage rates have shot up above 5 percent. The percentage of average wages consumed by those expenses has risen at the fastest quarterly and annual pace since at least 2000.

"Extraordinarily low levels of homes for sale combined with strong demand have caused home prices to soar over the last few years," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. "But homes remained relatively affordable due to historically low mortgage rates and rising wages. With interest rates almost doubling, homebuyers are faced with monthly mortgage payments that are between 40 and 50% higher than they were a year ago – payments that many prospective buyers simply can't afford."

The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to meet major monthly home ownership expenses — including mortgage, property taxes and insurance — on a median-priced single-family home, assuming a 20 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum "front-end" debt-to-income ratio. That required income was then compared to annualized average weekly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see full methodology below).

Compared to historical levels, median home prices in 560 of the 575 counties analyzed in the second quarter of 2022 are less affordable than in the past. The latest number is up from 459 of the same group of counties in the first quarter of 2022, 397 in the second quarter of 2021 and just 251, or less than half, two years ago. That increase has continued as the median national home price has spiked 16 percent over the past year while average annual wages across the country have grown just 6 percent.

Major ownership costs on median-priced single-family homes and condos around the U.S. now require more than 28 percent of the average $67,587 wage in the U.S. - a ceiling considered affordable by common lending standards. The current level of 31.5 percent stands at the highest point since the second quarter of 2007 and is up from 26 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and 23.9 percent in the second quarter of last year. Both increases mark the largest jumps since at least 2000.

Affording a home across the nation has gotten significantly tougher in recent months at a time when the U.S. housing market has roared ahead for the 11th straight year but also faces notable headwinds that could slow it down. One major force remains: home prices have continued to soar in 2022 as a large cohort of homebuyers continues chasing an extremely small supply of properties for sale. Elevated demand has helped push the national median home price up over the past year at more than double the pace of wage growth.

But as mortgage rates have steadily climbed this year from just above 3 percent to near 6 percent for a 30-year loan, costs have escalated for buyers. Higher interest rates, growing inflation, soaring fuel costs and a declining stock market all threaten the housing market, which could already be showing signs of strain – May marked the fifth consecutive month of lower existing home sales than the prior month.

View Q2 2022 U.S. Home Affordability Heat Map 

As historic affordability continues to decline, major home-ownership expenses on typical homes are now unaffordable to average local wage earners during the second quarter of 2022 in 388, or 67 percent, of the 575 counties in the report, based on the 28-percent guideline. The largest populated counties that are unaffordable are Los Angeles County, CA; Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ; San Diego County, CA; Orange County, CA (outside Los Angeles) and Kings County (Brooklyn), NY.

The most populous of the 187 counties where major expenses on median-priced homes remain affordable for average local workers in the second quarter of 2022 are Cook County (Chicago), IL; Harris County (Houston), TX; Philadelphia County, PA; Franklin County (Columbus), OH, and Hennepin County (Minneapolis), MN.

Home prices continue to rise at least 10 percent annually in two-thirds of country
Median single-family home and condo prices in the second quarter of 2022 are up by at least 10 percent over the second quarter of 2021 in 373, or 65 percent, of the 575 counties included in the report. Data was analyzed for counties with a population of at least 100,000 and at least 50 single-family home and condo sales in the second quarter of 2022.

Among the 47 counties in the report with a population of at least 1 million, the biggest year-over-year gains in median sales prices during the second quarter of 2022 are in Collin County (Plano), TX (up 28 percent); Hillsborough County (Tampa), FL (up 27 percent); Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ (up 25 percent); Clark County (Las Vegas), NV (up 24 percent) and Salt Lake County (Salt Lake City), UT (up 24 percent).

Counties with a population of at least 1 million where median prices have gone up the least or decreased, year-over-year, during the second quarter of 2022 are Oakland County, MI (outside Detroit) (down 2 percent); Honolulu County, HI (up 4 percent); Bronx County, NY (up 5 percent); Cook County (Chicago), IL (up 5 percent) and Kings County (Brooklyn), NY (up 6 percent).

Price gains outpace wage growth in nearly 90 percent of markets
Annual home-price appreciation has been greater than weekly annualized wage growth in the second quarter of 2022 in 510 of the 575 counties analyzed in the report (89 percent), with the largest including Los Angeles County, CA; Harris County (Houston), TX; Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ; San Diego County, CA, and Orange County, CA (outside Los Angeles).

Average annualized wage growth has surpassed home-price appreciation in the second quarter of 2022 in only 65 of the counties in the report (11 percent), including Cook County, (Chicago), IL; Oakland County, MI (outside Detroit); Fairfield County, CT (outside New York City); Erie County (Buffalo), NY, and San Francisco County, CA.

Ownership costs now require more than 28 percent of average local wages in two-thirds of the nation
Major ownership costs on median-priced, single-family homes in the second quarter of 2022 consume more than 28 percent of average local wages in 388 of the 575 counties analyzed (67 percent), assuming a 20 percent down payment. That is up from 52 percent in the first quarter of 2022 for the same group of counties and 44 percent in the second quarter of last year.

"Worsening affordability appears to be having an impact on demand, which could lead to prices plateauing or even correcting modestly in some markets," Sharga noted. "Many potential buyers may elect to continue renting until market conditions improve. Others might adjust their sights and look for smaller properties, or homes that are further away from major metro areas. And it's possible that worsening affordability could accelerate the migratory trends that the COVID-19 pandemic started, as residents in high cost, high tax states who can now work from home look for less expensive places to live."

All but two of counties analyzed have seen an increase in the portion of average local wages consumed by major ownership expenses from both the first to the second quarter of this year and from the second quarter of last year to the same period in 2022.

Counties that require the largest percentage of wages are Santa Cruz County, CA (116 percent of annualized weekly wages needed to buy a home); Marin County, CA (outside San Francisco) (109.6 percent); Kings County (Brooklyn), NY (102.9 percent); Maui County, HI (92 percent) and San Luis Obispo County, CA (88.2 percent).

Aside from Kings County, NY, counties with a population of at least 1 million where major ownership expenses typically consume more than 28 percent of average local wages in the second quarter of 2022 include Orange County, CA (outside Los Angeles) (82.1 percent); Alameda County (Oakland), CA (77.2 percent); Queens County, NY (72.5 percent) and Riverside County, CA (outside Los Angeles) (67.6 percent).

Counties where the smallest portion of average local wages are required to afford the median-priced home during the second quarter of this year are Schuylkill County, PA (outside Allentown) (10.2 percent of annualized weekly wages needed to buy a home); Rock Island County (Moline), IL (12.4 percent); Cambria County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) (12.9 percent); Macon County (Decatur), IL (13.4 percent) and Mercer County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) (13.6 percent).

Counties with a population of at least 1 million where major ownership expenses typically consume less than 28 percent of average local wages in the second quarter of 2022 include Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), PA (17.4 percent); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH (18.4 percent); Philadelphia County, PA (19.1 percent); St. Louis County, MO (21.4 percent) and Cook County (Chicago), IL (25.3 percent).

Four in 10 counties require annual wages of more than $75,000 to afford typical home
Amid the downward affordability trend, annual wages of more than $75,000 are now needed to pay for major costs on the median-priced home purchased during the second quarter of 2022 in 232, or 40 percent, of the 575 markets in the report.

The top 20 highest annual wages required to afford typical homes again are all on the east or west coast, led by New York County (Manhattan), NY ($362,691); San Mateo County (outside San Francisco), CA ($357,567); Marin County (outside San Francisco), CA ($347,958); San Francisco County, CA ($327,220) and Santa Clara County (San Jose), CA ($322,131).

The lowest annual wages required to afford a median-priced home in the second quarter of 2022 are in Schuylkill County, PA (outside Allentown) ($17,595); Cambria County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) ($20,171); Mercer County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) ($23,255); Fayette County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) ($23,638) and Bibb County (Macon), GA ($24,501),

Homeownership less affordable than historic averages in nearly all counties
Among the 575 counties analyzed in the report, 560 (97 percent) are less affordable in the second quarter of 2022 than their historic affordability averages. That is up from 80 percent in the first quarter of 2022, 69 percent a year ago and more than double the 44 percent level in the second quarter of 2020. Historic indexes have worsened this quarter compared to a year ago in all but two of those counties.

Historic affordability nationwide has declined for the sixth quarter in row to the worst level since the second quarter of 2007, near the end of the last housing-market boom.

Counties with a population of at least 1 million that are less affordable than their historic averages (indexes of less than 100 are considered less affordable compared to historic averages) include Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ (index of 58); Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), NC (59); Travis County (Austin), TX (60); Collin County (Plano), TX (60) and Clark County (Las Vegas), NV (60).

Counties with the worst affordability indexes in the second quarter of 2022 are Clayton County, GA (outside Atlanta) (index of 47); Canyon County, ID (outside Boise) (48); Rankin County (Jackson), MS (48); Maury County, TN (outside Nashville) (49) and Pinal County, AZ (outside Phoenix) (49).

Among counties with a population of at least 1 million, those where the affordability indexes have worsened most from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022 are Hillsborough County (Tampa), FL (index down 30 percent); Clark County (Las Vegas), NV (down 30 percent); Collin County (Plano), TX (down 30 percent); Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ (down 30 percent) and Pima County, (Tucson), AZ (down 30 percent).

Only 3 percent of markets are more affordable than historic averages
Among the 575 counties in the report, only 15 (3 percent) are more affordable than their historic affordability averages in the second quarter of 2022. That is down from 20 percent of the same group in the prior quarter, 31 percent a year ago and 56 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

Counties with a population of at least 1 million that are more affordable than their historic averages (indexes of more than 100 are considered more affordable compared to historic averages) include Westchester County, NY (outside New York City) (index of 103) and New York County (Manhattan), NY (101).

Counties with the best affordability indexes in the second quarter of 2022 include Macon County (Decatur), IL (index of 129); San Francisco County, CA (115); Mercer County, PA (outside Pittsburgh) (114); Peoria County, IL (107) and Schuylkill County, PA (outside Allentown) (106).

Counties with a population of least 1 million where the affordability index has declined the least from the second quarter of last year to the same period this year are Oakland County, MI (outside Detroit) (index down 11 percent); Cook County (Chicago), IL (down 13 percent); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH (down 17 percent); Westchester County, NY (outside New York City) (down 17 percent) and Bronx County, NY (down 18 percent).

Report Methodology
The ATTOM U.S. Home Affordability Index analyzed median home prices derived from publicly recorded sales deed data collected by ATTOM and average wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 575 U.S. counties with a combined population of 254.1 million during the second quarter of 2022. The affordability index is based on the percentage of average wages needed to pay for major expenses on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment. Those expenses include property taxes, home insurance, mortgage payments and mortgage insurance. Average 30-year fixed interest rates from the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey were used to calculate monthly house payments.

The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed for major home ownership expenses on a median-priced home, assuming a loan of 80 percent of the purchase price and a 28 percent maximum "front-end" debt-to-income ratio. For example, the nationwide median home price of $349,000 in the second quarter of 2022 requires an annual wage of $76,155, based on a $69,800 down payment, a $279,200 loan and monthly expenses not exceeding the 28 percent barrier — meaning households would not be spending more than 28 percent of their income on mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance. That required income is more than the $67,587 average wage nationwide based on the most recent average weekly wage data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making a median-priced home nationwide unaffordable for average workers.

About ATTOM 
ATTOM provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation's population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes, and enhances the real estate data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 20TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk file licenses, property data APIs, real estate market trends, property reports and more. Also, introducing our newest innovative solution, that offers immediate access and streamlines data management – ATTOM Cloud.

Media Contact:
Christine Stricker
949.748.8428
christine.stricker@attomdata.com 

Data and Report Licensing:
949.502.8313
datareports@attomdata.com

 

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Economics

Reduced myocardial blood flow is new clue in how COVID-19 is impacting the heart

Patients with prior COVID may be twice as likely to have unhealthy endothelial cells that line the inside of the heart and blood vessels, according to…

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Patients with prior COVID may be twice as likely to have unhealthy endothelial cells that line the inside of the heart and blood vessels, according to newly published research from Houston Methodist. This finding offers a new clue in understanding covid-19’s impact on cardiovascular health.

Credit: Houston Methodist

Patients with prior COVID may be twice as likely to have unhealthy endothelial cells that line the inside of the heart and blood vessels, according to newly published research from Houston Methodist. This finding offers a new clue in understanding covid-19’s impact on cardiovascular health.

In a new study published today in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, Houston Methodist researchers examined the coronary microvasculature health of 393 patients with prior covid-19 infection who had lingering symptoms. This is the first published study linking reduced blood flow in the body and COVID-19.

Using a widely available imaging tool, called positron emission tomography (PET), researchers found a 20% decrease in the ability of coronary arteries to dilate, a condition known as microvascular dysfunction. They also found that patients with prior COVID-19 infection were more likely to have reduced myocardial flow reserve – and changes in the resting and stress blood flow – which is a marker for poor prognosis and is associated with a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events.

“We were surprised with the consistency of reduced blood flow in post covid patients within the study,” said corresponding author Mouaz Al-Mallah, M.D., director of cardiovascular PET at Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, and president elect of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. “The findings bring new questions, but also help guide us toward further studying blood flow in COVID-19 patients with persistent symptoms.”

Dysfunction and inflammation of endothelial cells is a well-known sign of acute Covid-19 infection, but little is known about the long-term effects on the heart and vascular system. Earlier in the pandemic, research indicated that COVID-19 could commonly cause myocarditis but that now appears to be a rare effect of this viral infection.

A recent study from the Netherlands found that 1 in 8 people had lingering symptoms post-covid. As clinicians continue to see patients with symptoms like shortness of breath, palpations and fatigue after their recovery, the cause of long covid is mostly unknown.

Further studies are needed to document the magnitude of microvascular dysfunction and to identify strategies for appropriate early diagnosis and management. For instance, reduced myocardial flow reserve can be used to determine a patient’s risk when presenting with symptoms of coronary artery disease over and above the established risk factors, which can become quite relevant in dealing with long Covid.

Next steps will require clinical studies to discover what is likely to happen in the future to patients whose microvascular health has been affected by COVID-19, particularly those patients who continue to have lingering symptoms, or long COVID.

This work was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health under contract numbers R01 HL133254, R01 HL148338 and R01 HL157790.

———————–

For more information: Coronary microvascular health in patients with prior COVID-19 infection. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. (online Aug. 16, 2022) Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed, Jean Michel Saad, Yushui Han, Fares Alahdab, Maan Malahfji, Faisal Nabi, John J Mahmarian, John P. Cook, William A Zoghbi and Mouaz H Al-Mallah. DOI: www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2022.07.006

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War, peace and security: The pandemic’s impact on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to improve the lives of women and girls in postwar countries…

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Nepalese girls rest for observation after receiving the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Attention to the pandemic’s impacts on women has largely focused on the Global North, ignoring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, which continue to deal with prolonged effects of war. While the Nepalese Civil War concluded in 2006 and the Sri Lankan Civil War concluded in 2009, internal conflicts continue.

As scholars of gender and war, our work focuses on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. And our recently published paper examines COVID-19’s impacts on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka, looking at policy responses and their repercussions on the women, peace and security agenda.

COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively impacted women in part because most are the primary family caregivers and the pandemic has increased women’s caring duties.

This pattern is even more pronounced in war-affected countries where the compounding factors of war and the pandemic leave women generally more vulnerable. These nations exist at the margins of the international system and suffer from what the World Bank terms “fragility, conflict and violence.”

Women, labour and gender-based violence

Gendered labour precarity is not new to Nepal or Sri Lanka and the pandemic has only eroded women’s already poor economic prospects.

Prior to COVID-19, Tharshani (pseudonym), a Sri Lankan mother of three and head of her household, was able to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit, lockdowns prevented Tharshani from selling the chickens she raises for market. She was forced to take loans from her neighbours and her family had to skip meals.

Some 1.7 million women in Sri Lanka work in the informal sector, where no state employment protections exist and not working means no wages. COVID-19 is exacerbating women’s struggles with poverty and forcing them to take on debilitating debts.

Although Sri Lankan men also face increased labour precarity, due to gender discrimination and sexism in the job market, women are forced into the informal sector — the jobs hardest hit by the pandemic.

Two women sit in chairs, wearing face masks
Sri Lankan women chat after getting inoculated against the coronavirus in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The pandemic has also led to women and girls facing increased gender-based violence.

In Nepal, between March 2020 and June 2021, there was an increase in cases of gender-based violence. Over 1,750 incidents were reported in the media, of which rape and sexual assault represented 82 per cent. Pandemic lockdowns also led to new vulnerabilities for women who sought out quarantine shelters — in Lamkichuha, Nepal, a woman was allegedly gang-raped at a quarantine facility.

Gender-based violence is more prevalent among women and girls of low caste in Nepal and the pandemic has made it worse. The Samata Foundation reported 90 cases of gender-based violence faced by women and girls of low caste within the first six months of the pandemic.

What’s next?

While COVID-19 recovery efforts are generally focused on preparing for future pandemics and economic recovery, the women, peace and security agenda can also address the needs of some of those most marginalized when it comes to COVID-19 recovery.

The women, peace and security agenda promotes women’s participation in peace and security matters with a focus on helping women facing violent conflict. By incorporating women’s perspectives, issues and concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery, policies and activities can help address issues that disproportionately impact most women in war-affected countries.

These issues are: precarious gendered labor market, a surge in care work, the rising feminization of poverty and increased gender-based violence.

A girl in a face mask stares out a window
The women, peace and security agenda can help address the needs of some of those most marginalized. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Policies could include efforts to create living-wage jobs for women that come with state benefits, emergency funding for women heads of household (so they can avoid taking out predatory loans) and increasing the number of resources (like shelters and legal services) for women experiencing domestic gender-based violence.

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to achieve the agenda’s aims of improving the lives of women and girls in postwar countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Luna KC is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network-Women Peace Security, McGill University. This project is funded by the Government of Canada Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.

Crystal Whetstone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Economics

Target Sets Sights on Holiday Season, Has Plan for High Inventory

Target said that it still expects spillover from inventory rightsizing to the tune of $200 million in the third quarter.

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Target said that it still expects spillover from inventory rightsizing to the tune of $200 million in the third quarter.

Target's  (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report strategy is paying off as the company's stock falls on heavy volume following its earnings release. 

Normally, a profit miss as wide as Target's, 39 cents per share vs. expectations of 72 cents per share, would result in a bigger drop than Target's, but the retailer has been prepping the market for this miss all summer. 

The inventory the company built up during the height of the pandemic, as Americans shopped more from home, needs to go, and the only way get rid of the excess product is deep discounts. 

"Back in June, we announced that our team would be undertaking a bold effort to rightsize our inventory position in the categories for which demand patterns have radically changed," CEO Brian Cornell said during the company's earnings call. "While this decision had a meaningful short-term impact on our financial results, we strongly believe it was the best path forward."

Now, looking forward the company sees some overhang for the third quarter, but expects a big holiday season ahead. 

While some fear a recession and what it might do to the economy, Target is convinced that the holiday season will be strong.

Image source: John Smith/VIEWpress.

Target Aims for Holiday Season

While Target is focused on the back-to-school season currently underway, the company expects "spillover" from its inventory issues to be present during the third quarter to the tune of $200 million. 

But the company's own checks suggest that its shoppers are excited about the holiday season. 

"The one thing that seems to be very consistent is a guest and consumer who says they want to celebrate the holiday seasons so we certainly expect that they are going to be celebrating Halloween this year and actively trick or treating and hosting parties with friends and family," Cornell said.

"We know they're looking forward to Thanksgiving and they're going to look forward to celebrating the Christmas holidays and that comes down each and every week as we survey consumers and talk to our guests so that gives us great optimism for our ability to perform during these key holiday seasons"

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Not only does Target expect a strong quarter, but the company also expects favorable comps as fourth quarter headwinds from a year ago aren't present this time around. 

"Guests already have their sights set on upcoming holidays and seasonal moments in Q3 and beyond," Cornell said.

Target's Q2 Collapse

Target said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in July were pegged at 39 cents per share, down 89% from the same period last year and well shy of the Street consensus forecast of 72 cents per share.

Group revenues, Target said, rose 3.5% to $26 billion, essentially matching analysts' estimates of a $26.04 billion tally. Target said same-store sales rose 2.6%, again shy of the Refinitiv forecast of 3.2%, while operating margins fell to 1.2%, below the group's July guidance of a 2% level. 

Earlier this summer, Target cautioned that its bigger-than-expected 35% build-up in overall inventories over the first quarter would trigger price cuts, adding that deeper discounts would be needed to shift the excess goods onto a customer base that was already pulling back on discretionary spending.

Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, Target's larger big box rival, said Tuesday that improving spending trends, as well as actions the group has taken to shift excess inventory, will ease some of the pressures it expects to face in terms of overall profits over the back half of the year.

Walmart said adjusted earnings for the three months ended in July came in at $1.77 per share, down one penny from the same period last year but well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.62 per share.

Group revenues, the company said, were tabbed at $152.9 billion, an 8.4% increase from last year that topped analysts' estimates of $150.81 billion. U.S. same-store sales rose 6.5% from last year, the company said, firmly topping the Refinitiv forecast. 

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