• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, after increasing 2.0% 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 1.2%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.2% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 1.3% in the previous quarter. 
  • Real GDP increased 2.4% in the year 2015, the same increase as in 2014. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.3% in 2015, compared with an increase of 1.5% in 2014.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 5.1% in December, while shipments decreased 2.2%. New orders were down 3.5% in the year 2015, while shipments were up 1.4%.
  • December new home sales were up10.8% from the previous month, and were up 9.9% from a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold was $288.9 thousand, 4.3% below December 2014. An estimated 501 thousand new homes were sold in 2015, up 14.6% from the previous year.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, edged up 0.1% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 4.2% from December 2014.
  • U.S. House prices increased 0.5% 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 5.9%.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for November showed that home prices continued their rise across the country. The S & P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index increased 5.3% from November of 2014.The 10-city composite index gained 5.3% year-over-year, while the 20-city composite index increased 5.8% year-over-year.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 28th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the fourth consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.79% for the week ending January 28, down from last week when it averaged 3.81%.A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.66%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 8.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 16 thousand to 278 thousand in the week ending January 23. The 4-week moving average was 283 thousand, a decrease of 2.25 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 2015. Compensation costs rose 2.0% for the 12-month period ending December 2015.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in December. Twenty-five states had unemployment rate decreases from November, fourteen states had increases, and eleven states and the District of Columbia had no change, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states and the District of Columbia, and decreased in 14 states.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in December, improved moderately in January.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was slightly down in January. The index was 92.0 in January, down from 92.6 in December.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.50%, and indicated that “economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target rate below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run”.
  • Retail trade, health care and social assistance, and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter, according to statistics on gross domestic product by industry released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 15 of 22 industry groups contributed to the 2.0% growth in real GDP in the third quarter. Finance and insurance was the leading contributor to the deceleration in real GDP growth (2.0% in the third quarter, compared with 3.9% in the second quarter).
  • Housing starts in December were down 2.5% from the previous month, but were up 6.4 from December 2014. Building permits were down 3.9% from the previous month, but were up 14.4% from December 2014. The total number of starts for the year 2015 was up 10.8% from the previous year, while building permits were up 12.0%. 
  • December existing home sales increased 14.7% to an annualized rate of 5,460 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. There were 1,790 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 3.9 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.4 in December of 2014. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $224.1 thousand, 7.6% above December 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo held steady at 60 in January. The index was 57 in January 2015.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 21st showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the third consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.81% for the week ending January 21, down from last week when it averaged 3.92%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.63%. 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.10%, down from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.93%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 9.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 15th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 293 thousand in the week ending January 16. The 4-week moving average was 285 thousand, an increase of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.1% from November to December. This result stems from no change in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% decrease in the consumer price index.
  • The consumer price index (headline index), which held steady in November, decreased 0.1% in December. The core index increased 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 0.7% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 2.1%.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.2% in December, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through December, the leading index increased 0.7%, with five out of ten components advancing. The coincident index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. Over the six-month span through December, the coincident index increased 1.1%, with three out of four components advancing.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for January reported that manufacturing conditions in the region contracted modestly.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were down 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 2.2% from December 2014. Retail and food services sales for the year 2015 were up 2.1% from the previous year, while sales excluding motor vehicle & parts were up 0.9%.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were down 0.2%from the previous month, and were down 2.8% from November 2014. Inventories were down 0.2% from the previous month, but were up 1.6% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.38 at the end of November, compared with 1.32 at the end of November 2014.
  • Industrial production decreased 0.4% in December, following a 0.9% decrease in the previous month. The index was down 1.8% from December of 2014.The rate of capacity utilization for total industry decreased 0.4 percentage point to 76.5% in December. The rate of capacity utilization was 79.0% in December of 2014.  
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $14.4 billion in December, after a deficit of $64.6 billion in the previous month. The cumulative deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year 2016 was $215.5 billion, compared with a deficit of $176.6 billion for the first three months of the previous fiscal year.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 7 thousand to 284 thousand in the week ending January 9th. The 4-week moving average was 278.75 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • There were 5.4 million job openings on the last business day of November, little changed from the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) decreased 0.2% in December, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The index for final demand goods decreased 0.7% in December, the sixth consecutive decrease. Prices for final demand goods less foods and energy, the core, inched up 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand decreased 1.0% from December 2014 to December 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 1.2% and the export price index decreased 1.1% in December. The import price index decreased 8.2% from December 2014, while export prices decreased 6.5%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 14th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the second consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.92%, down from last week when it averaged 3.97%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.66%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19%, down from last week when it averaged 3.26%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 2.98%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 21.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 8th.
  • The January 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity declined for New York manufacturers at the fastest pace since the Great Recession. The headline index dropped 13 points to negative 19.37.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded in nine of the Districts since the previous report, with most Districts reporting a “modest” or “moderate” pace of growth.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, inched upward for the fourth consecutive month due to more positive expectations for future economic growth. The index was 93.3 in early January, compared with 92.6 in December and 98.1 in January of 2015.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 292 thousand in December, following an increase of 252 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 275 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 17 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 20 thousand to 7.904 million. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%. The unemployment rate was 5.6% in December of 2014.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by a cent to $25.24, while average weekly earnings decreased by $0.35 to $870.78.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%, and average weekly earnings were up 2.2%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 277 thousand in the week ending January 2. The 4-week moving average was 275.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 from the previous week’s average.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 3.3% in December, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 4.7%. Total vehicle sales were 17.2 million units in December, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 18.1 million in the previous month, and 16.8 million in December of 2014. Total vehicle sales were 17.3 million for the year 2015, up from 16.4 million in the previous year.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.2% in November, while shipments increased 0.2%. Year-to-date new orders decreased 6.8%, while shipments decreased 4.2%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in November were down 1.0% from the previous month, while inventories were down 0.3%.  Inventories/sales ratio was 1.32, compared with 1.23 in November 2014.
  • Construction spending decreased 0.4% in November, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month, according to the Census Bureau. Private construction decreased 0.2% in November, while public construction decreased 1.0%. Total construction spending was up 10.5% from November 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 7th showing mortgage rates mixed with the 30-year fixed-rate falling below four percent to start the year. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97% for the week ending January 7th, down from last week when it averaged 4.01%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.73%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.26% for the week ending January 7th, up from last week when it averaged 3.24%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.05%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 27.0% from two weeks earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 1st. 
  • In November, international trade deficit was $42.4 billion, $2.2 billion less than the October figure. The cumulative trade deficit for the first eleven months of 2015 was $488.0 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $462.8 billion during the first eleven months of 2014.
  • November consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 4.8%, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Revolving credits increased at an annual rate of 7.4%, while non-revolving credits increased 3.8%.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the second consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 79th consecutive month.
  • In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 71st consecutive month.