U.S. pending home sales jumped 3.1% in February (or +12.0% y/y), leaving expectations of a mild 0.4% increase behind in the dust. Despite bad weather, there was an 11.6% surge in contracts signed in the Midwest, a sizeable jump which will likely be reversed in March (due out April 29th). There was also a 6.6% increase in the West, while the South and the Northeast saw fewer signings.“Trend in the economic data seen in early 2015 have been difficult to discern; particularly given bad weather, disruption of goods flowing in and out of the West Coast ports, and the greenback. What we do know is that these factors have had a, generally, dampening effect on economic activity and, given the February drop in personal spending, we’ve lowered our Q1 GDP forecast to 1.3% (from 1.5%), which trimmed 2015 to 2.9% (from 3.0%). But we continue to look for a rebound in Q2.” – said BMO Capital Markets in a report on Monday.

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