• Real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015, after increasing at 2.2% in the previous quarter, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the “advance” estimate, released a month ago, real GDP increased 0.2%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases decreased 1.6% in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $125.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $30.4 billion in the previous quarter.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.5% in April, while shipments decreased 0.1%. Year-to-date new orders were down 1.3% from the same period in 2014, while shipments were up 3.5%. Excluding transportation, new orders for manufactured durable goods were up 0.5% in April, while shipments were up 0.1%.
  • April new home sales were up 6.8% from the previous month, and were up 26.1% from a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold was $297.3 thousand, 8.3% above March 2014.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from February to March, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in March, U.S. prices rose 5.2%.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller home price indices for March show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The S & P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015, compared with a 4.2% increase in February. As of March 2015, home prices were approximately 15-16% below their June/July 2006 peaks, and were back to their autumn 2004 levels.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 3.4% to a reading of 112.4 in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 14% above April 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher and pushing rates to their highest level of the year. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87% for the week ending May 28th, up from last week when it averaged 3.84%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.12%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 22nd.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 7 thousand to 282 thousand in the week ending May 23. The 4-week moving average was 271.5 thousand, an increase of 5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in April, increased to 95.4 in May. The present situation index increased to 105.1, while the expectations index edged down to 86.9.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for May decreased to 90.7, from 95.9 in April. The current economic conditions and the index of consumer expectations both decreased in May.
  • Housing starts were up 20.2% in April from the previous month, and were up 9.2% from a year ago. Building permits were up 10.1% in April from the previous month, and were up 6.4% from April 2014.
  • April existing home sales decreased 3.3% to an annualized rate of 5,040 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were up 6.1% from a year ago. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $219.4 thousand, 8.9% above April 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased 2 points to 54 in May. The index was 45 a year ago, and 57 in January 2015.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly lower, following three consecutive weeks of increases. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.84% for the week ending May 21, down from last week when it averaged 3.85%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.14%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 15th.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.1% in April, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.3%, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index (headline index) decreased 0.2% for the 12-month period ending in April, while the core index rose 1.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 274 thousand in the week ending May 16. The 4-week moving average was 266.25 thousand, a decrease of 5.5 thousand from the previous week.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from March to April. This result stems from a 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for May reported that manufacturing activity in the region increased modestly.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.7% in April, following a 0.4% increase in March, and a 0.2% decrease in February. The Conference Board’s coincident economic index increased 0.2% in April, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for April were virtually unchanged from March, but were up 0.9% from April 2014. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 1.9% from the same period a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales increased 0.4% in March, while inventories increased 0.1%.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.3% in April for its fifth consecutive monthly loss. The index of industrial production in was 1.9% above its year-ago level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 78.2%, 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2014) average. Manufacturing output held steady in April, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Output of mining decreased 0.8%, while output of utilizes decreased 1.3%.
  • The federal government budget ran a surplus of $156.7 billion in April, after a deficit of $52.9 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first seven months of fiscal year 2015 was $282.8 billion, compared with a deficit of $306.4 billion for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) decreased 0.4% in April, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index decreased 0.1%, following a 0.2% increase in March. The producer price index for final demand decreased 1.3% from April 2014 to April 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 0.5% in April, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. The export price index decreased 0.7%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The import price index decreased 10.7% from April 2014, while the price index for exports decreased 6.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased a thousand to 264 thousand in the week ending May 9. The 4-week moving average was 271.75 thousand, a decrease of 7.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • There were 4,994 thousand job openings on the last business day of March, compared with 5,144 thousand in February. The job openings rate for March was 3.4%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher for the third consecutive week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.85% for the week ending May 14, up from last week when it averaged 3.80%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.20%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 8th.
  • The May 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business conditions improved slightly for New York manufacturers. The headline index of general business conditions increased four points to 3.1. On the other hand, the prices paid index decreased ten points to 9.4.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for May, preliminary, was down 7.6% from the previous month, but was up 8.2% from a year ago.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 223 thousand in April, following an increase of 85 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 213 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 10 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 5.4% in April, from 5.5% in March.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $24.87. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.1%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 3 thousand to 265 thousand in the week ending May 2. The 4-week moving average was 279.5 thousand, a decrease of 4.250 thousand from the previous week.
  • First quarter productivity decreased 1.9% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 2.1% decrease in the final quarter of 2014. From the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, productivity increased 0.6%. Unit labor costs increased 5.0% in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting a 3.1% increase in hourly compensation and a 1.9% decline in productivity.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 2.9% in April, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 3.5%. Total vehicle sales were 16.5 million units in April, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 16.0 million in April of 2014.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.1% in March, while shipments increased 0.5%. Year-to-date new orders were down 4.8% from the same period in 2014, while shipments were down 3.2%. Excluding transportation, shipments were down 0.3% in March, while new orders held steady.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in March were down 0.2%, while inventories were up 0.1%. Sales of durable goods were up 1.3%, while sales of nondurable goods were down 1.5%. The March inventories/sales ratio was 1.30, compared with 1.19 in March of 2014.
  • In March international trade deficit was $51.4 billion, $15.5 billion more than the revised February figure. March exports were $187.8 billion, $1.6 billion more than February exports. March imports were $239.2 billion, $17.1 billion more than February imports. Year-to-date the goods and services deficit increased $6.4 billion, or 5.2%, from the same period in 2014.
  • March consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 7.4%, following a 5.3% increase in the previous month. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.4% during the first quarter. During the same time, revolving credits decreased 0.3% while non-revolving credits increased 7.5%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.80% for the week ending May 7th, up from last week when it averaged 3.68%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.21%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 1, 2015.
  • In April, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 63rd consecutive month. Fourteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while four industries reported contraction in April.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2015, after increasing at 2.2% in the previous quarter. The price index for gross domestic purchases decreased 1.5% in the first quarter, compared to a decrease of 0.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) decreased 0.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.3% in the final quarter of 2014.
  • Personal income increased less than 0.1% in March, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.2% in March, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%. The personal saving rate – personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income – was 5.3% in March, compared with 5.7% in February
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in March, while the core index increased 0.1%. The price index (headline index) was up 0.3% from March 2014, while the core index was up 1.3%.
  • March construction spending was down 0.6% from the previous month, but was up 2.0% from March 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau. Private construction decreased 0.3% in March, while public construction decreased 1.5%.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index increased 1.1% to a reading of 108.6 in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was 11.1% above March 2014 level.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index for February indicated that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The U.S. National Index recorded a 4.2% annual gain in February, weaker than 4.4% increase in January 2015. As of February 2015, average home prices are back to their autumn 2004 levels, and are approximately 15-17% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly higher. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68% for the week ending April 30, up from last week when it averaged 3.65%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 4.29%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 24th.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.7%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending March 2015, following a 0.5% increase for the 3–month period ending December 2014. Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8% for the 12-month period ending March 2015, while compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.1%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 34 thousand to 262 thousand in the week ending April 25. The 4-week moving average was 283.750 thousand, a decrease of 1.250 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 28th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 71st consecutive month.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in March, decreased in April. The index now stands at 95.2 (1985=100), down from 101.4 in March. The present situation index and the expectations index both decreased in April.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for April increased to 95.9, the second highest level since 2007.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%.