• Retail inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $609.6 billion, up 1.0% from the previous month, and were up 4.1% from November 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Wholesale inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $594.5 billion, up 0.9% from the previous month, and were up 1.2% from November 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The international trade deficit in goods was $65.3 billion in November, up $3.4 billion from $61.9 in October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Exports of goods for November were $121.7 billion, down $1.2 billion from October. Imports of goods were $187.0 billion in November, up $2.2 billion from the previous month.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 2.5% in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was down 0.4% from a year ago.
  • The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Indices posted an annual increase of 5.6% for the 12 months ending in October. The 10-city composite index increased 4.3% from October 2015 to October 2016, while and 20-city composite index increased 5.1%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 29th showed average fixed mortgage rates continuing to rise. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.32% for the week ending December 29, up from last week when it averaged 4.30%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.01%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55%, up from last week when it averaged 3.52%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.24%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 16th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 265 thousand in the week ending December 24. The 4-week moving average was 263 thousand, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index continued to increase in December. The Index now stands at 113.7, up from 109.4 in November.
  • The Chicago FED’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) held steady at negative 0.77 in the week ending December 23. The credit and leverage sub-indexes decreased slightly from the previous week, while the risk and nonfinancial leverage sub-indexes were unchanged.
  • The Chicago FED’s alternative index or the adjusted index (ANFCI) isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on financial conditions relative to current economic conditions. The ANFCI increased slightly from the previous week to negative 0.17. This indicates that financial conditions in the latest week were somewhat looser than what would be suggested by current economic conditions.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2016, after increasing 1.4% 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 3.2%.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 4.8% in the third quarter, following a 0.7% increase in the previous quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of economic activity, increased 4.1% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.1% in the second quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product increased 3.0%, following a 2.6% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 2.1% in the previous quarter.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 2.0%.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $117.8 billion in the third quarter, after a decrease of $12.5 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased less than 0.1% in November, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures, which increased 0.4% in October, increased 0.2% in November. The price index for personal consumption expenditures and the core index both held steady in November. The price index (headline index) was up 1.4% from November 2015, while the core index was up 1.6%.
  • State personal income growth was 1.1% on average in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2% in the previous quarter.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 4.6% in November, following a 4.8% increase in the previous month. Shipments increased 0.1%, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were down 0.3%, while shipments were down 0.8%.
  • November existing home sales increased 0.7% from the previous month to an annualized rate of 5.61 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. This represents a 15.4% increase from a year ago. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $234.9 thousand, 6.8% above November 2015. There were 1.85 million existing homes for sale at the end of the month (9.3% lower than a year ago). This represents a supply of 4.0 months at the current sales rate, compared with 4.3 months in October.
  • November new home sales increased 5.2% to an annualized rate of 592 thousand units. The November figure was 16.5% above the November 2015 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $305.4 thousand, down 3.7% from a year ago.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.4% 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 22nd showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher for the eighth consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.30% for the week ending December 22, up from last week when it averaged 4.16%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.96%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 16th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 21 thousand to 275 thousand in the week ending December 17. The 4-week moving average was 263.75 thousand, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Unemployment rates were significantly lower in November in 18 states and stable in 32 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 9 states, decreased in 2 states, and was essentially unchanged in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators held steady in November, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.0% (about a 2.0% annual rate). 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 0.6% (about a 1.2% annual rate).
  • The Chicago FED National Activity Index decreased to negative 0.27 in November from negative 0.05 in October. The index’s three-month moving average was negative 0.14, compared with negative 0.20 in October.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 98.2 in December, from 93.8 in November. The index was 92.6 a year ago.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were up 0.1% from the previous month, and were up 3.8% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from October, and were up 3.9% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.1% from the first eleven months of 2015.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were up 0.8% from September, while inventories were down 0.2%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.37 in October, compared with 1.39 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.4% in November, following a 0.1% increase in October. Total industrial production in November was 0.6% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased 0.4 percentage point to 75.0%, 5.0 percentage points below its 1972-2015 average.
  • The U.S. current account deficit decreased to $113.0 billion in the third quarter of 2016, from $118.3 billion in the previous quarter. The deficit decreased to 2.4% of GDP, from 2.6% of GDP in the second quarter.
  • The federal budget had a deficit of $136.7 billion in November, compared with a deficit of $44.2 billion in October and a deficit of $65.5 billion in November of 2015.
  • Housing starts in November were down 18.7% from the previous month, and were down 6.9% from November 2015. Building permits in November were down 4.7% from the previous month, and were down 6.6% from a year ago.
  • The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased 7 points to 70 in December. The index was 63 in the previous month, and 60 in December of 2015.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates rising. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16% for the week ending December 15th, up from last week when it averaged 4.13%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 9th.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.2% in November, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in November, while the core index rose 2.1%.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.4% in November, after holding steady in October.  The index for final demand goods less foods and energy increased 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.3% from November 2015 to November 2016.
  • The import price index decreased 0.3% in November, while the export price index decreased 0.1%. The import price index decreased 0.1% from November 2015 to November 2016, while the price index for exports decreased 0.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 254 thousand in the week ending December 10, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 257.75 thousand, an increase of 5.25 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.4% from October to November. This result stems from 0.1% decrease in average hourly earnings, being more than offset by a 0.2% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The December 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew modestly for New York manufacturers. The headline index, which was 1.5 in November, increased to 9.0 in December.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that regional manufacturing activity picked up in December.  The headline index rose to 21.5 in December, from 7.6 in November.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% to 0.75%. The Committee stated that “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a return to 2% inflation.”
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.7% in October, while shipments of manufactured goods increased 0.4%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 2.0% from the same period in 2015, while shipments were down 2.3%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in October increased 1.4%, while inventories decreased 0.4%.  The October inventories/sales ratio was 1.30, compared with 1.33 in October 2014.
  • In October international trade deficit was $42.6 billion, $6.4 billion more than the September figure. The cumulative deficit for the first 10 months of 2016 was $409.0 billion, compared with a deficit of $417.8 billion during the first 10 months of 2015.
  • Third quarter productivity increased 3.1% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous quarter. From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, productivity rose 0.6%. Unit labor costs were up 0.7% from the previous quarter, and were up 3.0% from the same quarter a year ago.
  • The labor market conditions index was 1.5 in November compared with 1.4 (revised) in October, according to the Federal reserve. The decline in the rate of unemployment was the major contributor to this improvement in the index, which is based on 19 components.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 258 thousand in the week ending December 3. The 4-week moving average was 252.5 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 8th showed mortgage rates continued to climb and reached new highs for the year. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.13% for the week ending December 8, up from last week when it averaged 4.08%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.95%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 7.
  • In November, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 82nd consecutive month.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, surged in early December to 98, just slightly below the peak since 2004.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the third quarter of 2016, after increasing 1.4% in the previous quarter, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the advance estimate, released about a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 2.9%.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 5.2% in the third quarter, following a 0.7% increase in the previous quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI increased 4.2% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.1% in the second quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product increased 2.7%, following a 2.6% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 2.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $133.8 billion in the third quarter, after a decrease of $12.5 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.6% in October, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures, which increased 0.7% in September, increased 0.3% in October. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in October, while the core index increased 0.1%. The price index (headline index) was up 1.4% from October 2015, while the core index was up 1.7%.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 2.5% in November, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 0.9%. Total light vehicle sales were 18.1 million units in November, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 18.6 million in October of 2015.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 178 thousand in November, following an increase of 142 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased 156 thousand in the month, while government employment increased 22 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate declined to 4.6% in November, from 4.9% in October.
  • The average workweek held steady at 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by 3 cents to $25.89. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in November, while the overall economy grew for the 90th consecutive month.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that economic activity continued to expand across most regions from early October through mid-November.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in October, increased significantly in November to 107.1.