• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, after increasing 5.0% in the previous quarter, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real final sales (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 1.8%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases decreased 0.3% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 1.4% in the previous quarter.
  • Real GDP increased 2.4% in the year 2014, compared with an increase of 2.2% in 2013. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in 2014, compared with an increase of 1.3% in 2013.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 3.4% in December, while shipments increased 1.1%. New orders were up 6.2% in the year 2014, while shipments were up 5.0%.
  • December new home sales were up11.6% from the previous month, and were up 8.8% from a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold was $298.1 thousand, 8.2% above December 2013. An estimated 435 thousand new homes were sold in 2014, up 1.2% from the previous year.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 3.7% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 6.1% from December 2013.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for November showed a continued slowdown. The 10-city composite index gained 4.2% year-over-year, compared with 4.4% in October. The 20-city composite index increased 4.3% year-over-year, compared with an increase of 4.5% in October.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 29th showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing slightly. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66%, up from last week when it averaged 3.63%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 23, 2015.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 43 thousand to 265 thousand in the week ending January 24.This was the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 298.5 thousand, a decrease of 8.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.6%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending December 2014. Compensation costs rose 2.2% for the 12-month period ending December 2014.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in December. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from November, four states had increases, and four states had no change, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 41 states and decreased in 9 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in December, rose sharply in January.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose in January to its highest level in 11 years. The index was 98.1 in January, up from 93.6 from the previous month.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%, and indicated that “economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run”.
  • Housing starts in December were up 4.4% from the previous month, and were up 5.3 from December 2013. Building permits were down 1.9% from the previous month, but were up 1.0% from December 2013. The total number of starts for the year 2014 was up 8.8% from the previous year, while building permits were up 4.2%
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased a point to 57 in January. The index was 56 in January 2014, and 58 in December of 2014.
  • December existing home sales increased 2.4% to an annualized rate of 5,040 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. There were 1,850 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.4 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.6 in December of 2013. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $209.5 thousand, 6.0% above December 2013.
  • U.S. House prices increased 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from October to November, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in November, U.S. prices rose 5.3%. The index is 4.5% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the October 2005 index level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 22nd showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing. 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.63%, down from last week when it averaged 3.66%. This was the lowest level since the week ending May 23, 2013.
  • Mortgage applications increased 14.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 16th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 307 thousand in the week ending January 17.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased for the fourth consecutive month in December. The leading index increased 0.5% in December, while the coincident index increased 0.2%.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were down 0.9% from the previous month, but were up 3.2% from December 2013. Retail and food services sales for the year 2014 were up 4.0% from the previous year.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were down 0.2%, while inventories were up 0.2%.
  • Industrial production decreased 0.1% in December, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. The index was up 4.9% from December of 2013.The rate of capacity utilization for total industry decreased 0.3 percentage point to 79.7%.
  • The federal government budget ran a surplus of $1.9 billion in December, after a deficit of $56.8 billion in the previous month.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 19 thousand to 316 thousand in the week ending January 10th. The 4-week moving average was 298 thousand, an increase of 6.75 thousand from the previous week.
  • There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of November, little changed from 4.8 million in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.1% from November to December. This result stems from a 0.2% decrease in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% decrease in the consumer price index.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) decreased 0.4% in December, following a 0.3% decline in the previous month. The core index held steady, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 0.8% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 1.6%.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) decreased 0.3% in December, while the core index increased 0.2%. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.1% from December 2013 to December 2014.
  • The import price index decreased 2.5% and the export price index decreased 0.4% in December. The import price index decreased 5.5% from December 2013, while export prices decreased 3.2%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 15th showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing for the third consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66%, down from last week when it averaged 3.73%.
  • Mortgage applications surged 49.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 9th. This was the largest weekly gain since November 2008.
  • The January 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity expanded for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for January reported modest growth in manufacturing activity.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand from mid-November through late December, with most Districts reporting a “modest” or “moderate” pace of growth..
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, surged to 98.2 in early January. This was the highest level since January 2004.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 252 thousand in December, following an increase of 353 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 240 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 12 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 383 thousand to 8.688 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.6% in December, from 5.8% in November. The unemployment rate was 6.7% in December of 2013.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.6 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by 5 cents to $24.57, while average weekly earnings decreased by $1.73 to $850.12. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 1.7%, and average weekly earnings were up 2.5%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 4 thousand to 294 thousand in the week ending January 3. The 4-week moving average for initial claims decreased to 290.5 thousand.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 2.4% in December, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 1.7%. Total vehicle sales were 16.8 million units in December, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.1 million in the previous month, and 15.4 million in December of 2013. Total vehicle sales were 16.4 million for the year 2014, up from 16.0 million in the previous year.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.7% in November, while shipments decreased 0.6%. Year-to-date new orders increased 3.4%, while shipments increased 2.5%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in November were down 0.3% from the previous month, while inventories were up 0.8%.
  • In November, international trade deficit was $39.0 billion, $3.2 billion less than the October figure. The cumulative trade deficit for the first eleven months of 2014 was $461.3 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $439.0 billion during the first eleven months of 2013.
  • November consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 5.1%, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Revolving credits decreased at an annual rate of 1.3%, while non-revolving credits increased 7.5%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 8th showed average fixed mortgage rates diving to their lowest level since May 2013. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.73% for the week ending January 8th, down from last week when it averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 9.1% from two weeks earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 2nd.
  • In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 59th consecutive month.
  • Construction spending decreased 0.3% in November, following a 1.2% increase in the previous month, according to the Census Bureau. Private construction increased 0.3% in November, while public construction decreased 1.7%. Total construction spending was up 2.4% from November 2013.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 0.8% in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 4.1% from a year ago.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Indices posted annual increases of 4.4% and 4.5% in the 12 months ending in October, for 10-city and 20-city composites, respectively.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 31st showed average fixed mortgage rates move slightly higher. 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.87% for the week ending December 31, up from last week when it averaged 3.83%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 17 thousand to 298 thousand in the week ending December 27, according to U.S. Department of Labor.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had decreased in November, increased 1.6 points in December.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 67th consecutive month.