• The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 0.9% in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 2.7% from a year ago.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Indices show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months.  The U.S. National Home Price Index was up 5.2% in October, from a year ago. After seasonal adjustment, the index increased 0.9% in October, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. As of October 2015, average home prices are back to their winter 2007 levels and are approximately 11-13% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 31st showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher with the 30-year fixed-rate breaking the four percent mark for the first time in five months. 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.01% for the week ending December 31, up from last week when it averaged 3.96%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • The U.S. net international investment position at the end of the third quarter was negative $7,269.8 billion, compared with negative $6,743.1 at the end of the previous quarter. U.S. assets were $23,311.9 billion at the end of the third quarter, and U.S. liabilities were $30,581.8 billion.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 20 thousand to 287 thousand in the week ending December 26, according to U.S. Department of Labor. The 4-week moving average was 277 thousand, an increase of 4.5 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average of 272.5 thousand.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 322 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 54 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 294 metropolitan areas, decreased in 82 areas, and was unchanged in 11 areas.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had decreased in November, improved in December.  
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.0% in the third quarter of 2015, after increasing 3.9% in the previous quarter, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second estimate, released about a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 2.1%.
  • Real gross domestic income increased 2.7% in the third quarter, following a 2.2% increase in the previous quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI increased 2.3% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 3.0% in the second quarter. Real final sales of domestic product increased 2.7%, following a 3.9% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.3% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 1.5% in the previous quarter. 
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $33.0 billion in the third quarter, after an increase of $70.4 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in November, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures, which held steady in October, increased 0.3% in November. The price index for personal consumption expenditures held steady in November, while the core index increased 0.1%. The price index (headline index) was up 0.4% from November 2014, while the core index was up 1.3%.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods held steady in November, following a 2.9% increase in the previous month. Shipments increased 0.9%, following a 1.2% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were down 3.7%, while shipments were up 1.8%.
  • November existing home sales decreased 10.5% from the previous month to an annualized rate of 4,760 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. This represents a 3.8% decrease from a year ago. There were 2,040 thousand existing homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate, compared with 5.0 months in November of 2014. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $220.3 thousand, 6.3% above November 2014.
  • November new home sales increased 4.3% to an annualized rate of 490 thousand units. The November figure was 9.1% above the November 2014 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $305.0 thousand, up 0.8% from a year ago.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in October, U.S. prices rose 6.1%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 24th showed average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged from the previous week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.96% for the week ending December 24, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.97%  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.83%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 7.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 18th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 267 thousand in the week ending December 19. The 4-week moving average was 272.5 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in November. Twenty-seven states had unemployment rate decreases from October, 11 states had increases, and 12 states and the District of Columbia had no change, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 35 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 14 states, and was unchanged in Montana.
  • The Chicago FED National Activity Index decreased to negative 0.30 in November from negative 0.17 in October. The index’s three-month moving average decreased to negative 0.20, from negative 0.18 in October.
  • Fifth District manufacturing activity grew modestly and service sector activity remained subdued in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 92.6 in December, its highest level since July.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.6% in November, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. The index is down 1.2% from November of 2014. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 77.0%, down 3.1 percentage points from the long-run (1972-2014) average.
  • The current account deficit increased to $124.1 billion in the third quarter, from $111.1 billion in the previous quarter. The deficit increased to 2.7% of GDP, from 2.5% in the second quarter.
  • Housing starts in November were up 10.5% from the previous month, and were up 16.5% from November 2014. Building permits in November were up 11.0% from the previous month, and were up 19.5% from November 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased a point to 61 in December. The index was 57 in January, and 58 in December of 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 17th showed average fixed mortgage rates ticking slightly higher for the second week in a row. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97% for the week ending December 17, up from last week when it averaged 3.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.80%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 11th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 11 thousand to 271 thousand in the week ending December 12. The 4-week moving average was 270.5 thousand, a decrease of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from October to November. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings, combined with no change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The consumer price index (headline index), which increased 0.2% in October, held steady in November. The core index increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 0.5% for the 12-month period ending in November, while the core index rose 2.0%.
  • The December 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity declined for a fifth consecutive month for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that manufacturing activity in the region weakened in December.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in November, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.5%. The coincident index increased 0.1% in November, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 1.2%.
  • he Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise its target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% to 0.50%, and indicated that “monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and return to 2% inflation.”
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 1.4% from November 2014. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 2.0% from the same period in 2014, while sales excluding autos were up 0.8%.

  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were down 0.2% from the previous month, and were down 2.7% from October 2014. Inventories were virtually unchanged from the previous month, and were up 2.0% from October 2014.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in October decreased less than 0.1%, while inventories decreased 0.1%.  The October inventories/sales ratio was 1.31, compared with 1.22 in October 2014.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $64.6 billion in November, after a deficit of $136.5 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first two months of the 2016 fiscal year was $201.1, compared with a deficit of $188.5 for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • Domestic non-financial debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.4% in the second quarter, following an increase of 2.5% in the previous quarter.  Household debt rose 3.9% in the second quarter, while nonfinancial business debt rose 8.3%. Federal government debt increased 2.4%, while state and local government debt increased 1.0%
  • The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, gross domestic product by state for 21 industries on a quarterly basis. These new data supplement BEA’s national quarterly GDP by industry statistics first released in April 2014. Real GDP increased in 46 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2015. Overall, U.S. real GDP by state grew at an annual rate of 3.8% in the second quarter of 2015, following a 0.7% increase in the first quarter.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.3% in November, while the final demand for goods less foods and energy index decreased 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand decreased 1.1% from November 2014 to November 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 0.4% in November, while export prices decreased 0.6%. The import price index decreased 9.4% from November 2014, while the price index for exports decreased 6.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 13 thousand to 282 thousand in the week ending December 5. The 4-week moving average was 270.75 thousand, an increase of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.1 million and 4.9 million, respectively.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $33.37 per hour worked in September. Wages and salaries averaged $22.88 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefits averaged $10.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 10th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly higher on a better than expected employment report. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.95% for the week ending December 10, up from last week when it averaged 3.93%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.93%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 4th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, was virtually unchanged in early December.

  •  Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 221 thousand in November, following an increase of 298 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased 197 thousand in the month, while government employment increased 14 thousand. 
  • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0%.
  • The average workweek decreased by 0.1 to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $25.25. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 9 thousand to 269 thousand in the week ending November 28. The 4-week moving average was 269.25 thousand, a decrease of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Third quarter productivity increased 2.2% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 3.5% increase in the previous quarter. From the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, productivity rose 0.6%. Unit labor costs were up 1.8% from the previous quarter, and were up 3.0% from the same quarter a year ago.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 4.4% in November, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 0.4%. Total light vehicle sales were 18.1 million units in November, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.0 million in November of 2014.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.5% in October, while shipments of manufactured goods decreased 0.5%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 7.1% from the same period in 2014, while shipments were down 4.3%.
  • In October international trade deficit was $43.9 billion, $1.4 billion more than the September figure. The cumulative deficit for the first 10 months of 2015 was $445.0 billion, compared with a deficit of $422.8 billion during the first 10 months of 2014.
  • October construction spending was up 1.0% from the previous month, and was up 13.0% from October 2014. Private construction was up 0.8% in October, while public construction was up 1.4%.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 0.2% to a reading of 107.7 in October. The index was up 3.9% from October 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 3rd showed average fixed mortgage rates declining for the third consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.93% for the week ending December 3, down from last week when it averaged 3.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.89%.
  • Mortgage applications edged down 0.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 27.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in November for the first time in 36 months, since November 2012, while the overall economy grew for the 78th consecutive month.
  • In November, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 70th consecutive month.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that economic activity increased at a modest pace in most regions of the country since mid-October.