• Housing starts increased 2.3% in August, following a 2.8% decrease in the previous month.
  • August existing home sales increased 7.8% to an annualized rate of 4,820 thousand units. The August figure was 9.3% above the August 2011 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $187.4 thousand, 9.5% above August 2011.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo rose 3 points to 40 in September, its highest level since June 2006.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to 3.49%, matching its all-time record low, for the week ending September 20.
  • The current account deficit decreased to $117.4 billion in the second quarter, from $133.6 billion in the first quarter.
  • Treasury International Capital reported net foreign purchases of long-term securities of $60.2 billion in July, compared with net purchases of $5.5 billion in the previous month.
  • Domestic non-financial debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0% in the second quarter of 2012, following an increase of 4.4% in the previous quarter.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 3 thousand to 382 thousand in the week ending September 15.
  • The September Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that manufacturing activity in New York State continued to weaken over the month.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for September indicated nearly flat business conditions.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased in August, the third time this year.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for August were up 0.9% from July, and were up 4.7% from August 2011.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for July increased 0.9%, while inventories increased 0.8%.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 1.2% in August, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month.
  • In July international trade deficit was $42.0 billion, $0.1 billion more than the revised June figure.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $190.5 billion in August. The cumulative deficit for the first eleven months of the fiscal year was $1,164.4 billion, $69.7 billion less than the cumulative deficit during the first eleven months of the previous fiscal year.
  • July consumer credit outstanding decreased at an annual rate of 1.5% to $2,705.2 billion.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate held steady at 3.55% for the week ending September 13.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 15 thousand to 382 thousand in the week ending September 8.
  • The producer price index for finished goods (headline index) surged 1.7% in August, while the core index increased 0.2%. The producer price index for finished goods increased 2.0% from August 2011 to August 2012.
  • The consumer price index (headline index), which held steady in June and July, increased 0.6% in August, while the core index increased 0.1%. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in August, while the core index rose 1.9%.
  • The import price index increased 0.7% in August, while the export price index increased 0.9%. The import price index decreased 2.2% from August 2011, while the export price index decreased 0.9%.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, rose to 79.2 in September from 74.3 in August.
  • 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 mid-2015. The Committee decided to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 96 thousand to 133.300 million in August, following an increase of 141 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased 103 thousand in the month, while government employment decreased 7 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 250 thousand to 12.544 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 8.1%, from 8.3% in the previous month.
  • The average workweek of production and non-supervisory employees held steady at 33.7 hours, while average hourly earnings decreased by a cent to $19.75.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 12 thousand to 365 thousand in the week ending September 1.
  • Second quarter productivity increased 2.2% in the non-farm business sector, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous quarter. Unit labor costs increased 1.5% in the second quarter, following a 6.4% increase in the previous quarter.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 5.6% in August, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 3.0%. Total vehicle sales were 14.465 million units in August, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 12.420 million in August of 2011.
  • July construction spending decreased 0.9% to $834.4 billion. Private construction decreased 1.2%, while public construction decreased 0.4%.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.55% for the week ending September 6, down from last week when it averaged 3.59%.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in August for the third time since July 2009; however, the overall economy grew for the 39th consecutive month. The non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth for the 32nd consecutive month.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.7% in the second quarter of 2012, after increasing at 2.0% in the previous quarter. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 1.5%.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $10.4 billion in the second quarter, after a decrease of $53.0 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.3%, in July, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures held steady in July, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month.
  • New orders for manufactured goods (excluding semiconductors) increased 2.8% in July, while shipments increased 2.0%.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 2.4% to a reading of 101.7 in July. The index was 12.4% above July 2011 level.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.59% for the week ending August 30, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.66%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was unchanged at 374 thousand in the week ending August 25.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 74.3 in August, from 72.3 in July.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand gradually in July and early August across most regions and sectors.