* Housing starts decreased 4.8% in May, following an increase of 5.4% in the previous month.
* May existing home sales decreased 1.5% to an annualized rate of 4,550 thousand units. There were 2,490 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $182.6 thousand, 7.9% above May 2011.
* The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo rose to 29 in June, from 28 in May.
* The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.66% for the week ending June 21, down from last week when it averaged 3.71%. .
* The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 387 thousand in the week ending June 16.
* The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for June indicated weaker business conditions this month.
* The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.3% in May, while the index of coincident indicators increased 0.2%.
* The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%, and indicated that it is anticipated that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.