·      Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 1.2% for the first quarter of 2017.

·      Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.6% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 1.1% in the final quarter of 2016.

·      Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with a decrease of 1.4% in the final quarter of 2016.

·      The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 1.2% in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

·      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.5% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter.

·      The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 2.4%, compared with an increase of 2.0%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.0%, compared with an increase of 1.3%.

·      Corporate profits from current production decreased $48.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017, after an increase of $11.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $27.9 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $26.5 billion in the fourth quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $11.1 billion, compared with a decrease of $60.4 billion. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $9.4 billion, compared with an increase of $45.1 billion.

·      Personal income increased 0.4% in May, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1%, after increasing 0.4% in the previous month. Real disposable personal income increased 0.6% in May, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.1%, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.4% from May 2016. The core index was also up 1.4% from a year ago.

·      State personal income growth accelerated to 1.0% on average in the first quarter of 2017 from 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Earnings and personal current transfer receipts were the leading contributors to growth for the nation and in most states. Personal income grew 1.6% in Idaho, faster than in any other state. Four other states—Louisiana, Michigan, Florida, and Texas—had the next fastest growth in personal income at 1.3%. Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa had the slowest growth, and Nebraska at negative 0.1% was the only state where personal income declined.

·      New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.1% in April, while shipments increased 0.8%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%, while shipments increased 0.2%. Year-to-date new orders were up 2.8% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 2.5%.

·      Retail inventories for May were up 0.6% from the previous month, and were up 3.2% from May 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

·      Wholesale inventories for May were up 0.3% from the previous month, and were up 1.8% from May 2016. 

·      The international trade deficit in goods was $65.9 billion in May, down $1.2 billion from $67.1 billion in April, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for May were $127.1 billion, $0.5 billion more than April exports. Imports of goods for May were $193.0 billion, $0.8 billion less than April imports.

·      The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 0.8% to a reading of 108.5 in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was 1.7% below May 2016 level.

·      The S & P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price indices for April show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The S & P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index recorded a 5.5% annual gain in April, down from 5.6% last month. As of April 2017, home prices were back to their winter 2007 levels. The U.S. National index was 2.1% above its July 2006 peak level, and 10-city and 20-city composite indices were approximately 5-7% below their June/July 2006 peaks.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88% for the week ending June 29, down from last week when it averaged 3.90%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 3.48%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.17%, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 2.78%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 6.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 23rd.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 2 thousand to 244 thousand in the week ending June 24. The 4-week moving average was 242.25 thousand, a decrease of 2.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 17 was 1,948 thousand, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,938.75 thousand, an increase of 7.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in May than a year earlier in 298 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 66 areas, and unchanged in 24 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 304 metropolitan areas, decreased in 77 areas, and was unchanged in 6 areas.

·      In 2016, on days they worked, 22% of employed persons did some or all of their work at home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among workers age 25 and over, those with an advanced degree were more likely to work at home than were persons with less education (43% of workers with an advanced degree performed some work at home on days worked, compared with 12% of those with a high school diploma). The share of workers doing some or all of their work at home grew from 19% in 2003 (the first year the American Time Use Survey was conducted) to 22% in 2016. In this same period, the average time employed persons spent working at home on days they worked increased by 34 minutes (from 2.6 hours to 3.1 hours).

·      The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had decreased in May, increased moderately in June. The Index now stands at 118.9 (1985=100), up from 117.6 in May. The present situation index increased from 140.6 to 146.3, while the expectations index declined from 102.3 to 100.6.

 

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was 95.1 in June, compared with 97.1 in May and 93.5 in June of last year. The current economic conditions index increased from 111.7 to 112.5, while the index of consumer expectations declined from 87.7 to 83.9.

 

·      The Chicago FED National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to negative 0.26 in May, from 0.57 in April. Thirty-two of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in May, while 53 made negative contributions. Twenty-six indicators improved from April to May, while 56 indicators deteriorated and three were unchanged. The Index was negative 0.52 in May of 2016. The index’s 3-month moving average decreased to 0.04 in May from 0.21 in April.

·      The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) was unchanged at negative 0.89 in the week ending June 23. The risk and leverage sub-indexes were unchanged from the previous week, while the credit sub-index edged down and the nonfinancial leverage sub-index ticked up. The Index was negative 0.60 a year ago. The adjusted index (ANFCI), which removes the variation in the individual indicators attributable to economic activity and inflation, increased slightly to negative 0.36, from negative 0.40.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Fifth District manufacturing index increased to 7 in June, from 1 in May. On the other hand, activity in the service sector improved at a more moderate pace in June, with the revenues index of 19, compared with 34 in May – its highest level since 1997.

·      May existing home sales increased 1.1% to an annualized rate of 5,620 thousand units. The May figure was 2.7% above the May 2016 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $252.8 thousand, 5.8% above May 2016. There were 1,960 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.2 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.7 in May of 2016.

·      Sales of new single-family houses increased 2.9% in May to an annualized rate of 610 thousand units, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The May figure was 8.9% above the May 2016 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $345.8 thousand, 16.8% above May 2016.

·      U.S. House prices rose 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from March to April, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in April, U.S. prices rose 6.8%. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March 2017 to April 2017 ranged from negative 0.1% in the East South Central division to positive 1.6% in the West South Central division.  The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from 4.7% in the West North Central division to 8.9% in the Mountain division.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates are continuing to hold at year-to-date lows. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90% for the week ending June 22, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.91%. A year ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.56%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.17% for the week ending June 22, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.15%. A year ago this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.74%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 0.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 16th.

·      The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $116.8 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2017 from $114.0 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  The deficit increased to 2.5% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4% in the previous quarter. The $2.8 billion increase in the current-account deficit reflected a $5.3 billion increase in the in the deficit on goods, and a $3.6 billion decrease in the surplus on primary income that was largely offset by a $5.8 billion decrease in the deficit on secondary income and a $0.3 billion increase in the surplus on services.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 3 thousand to 241 thousand in the week ending June 17. The 4-week moving average was 244.75 thousand, an increase of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 10 was 1,944 thousand, an increase of 8 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,932 thousand, an increase of 5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

·      The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.3% in May, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous month. Over the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 2.3% (about a 4.7% annual rate), with seven out of ten components advancing. The Conference Board coincident economic index increased 0.1% in May, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through May, the coincident index increased 1.1% % (about a 2.1% annual rate), with all four components advancing.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for May were down 0.3% from the previous month, but were up 3.8% from May 2016. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.5% from the same period a year ago.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for April were up less than 0.1%, while inventories were down 0.2%. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of April was 1.37, compared with 1.42 in April 2016.

·      Total Industrial production held steady% in May, following a 1.1% increase in the previous month. The index of industrial production in May was 2.2% above its year-ago level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 76.6%, 3.3 percentage points below its 1972-2016 average, but one percentage point above its level in May 2016.

·      Housing starts in May were down 5.5% from the previous month, and were down 2.4% from a year ago. Year-to-date, housing starts were up 3.2% from the same period a year ago. Building permits were down 4.9% from the previous month, and were down 0.8% from May 2016. Year-to-date, building permits were up 5.5% from the same period a year ago.

·      The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased 2 points to 69 in June. The Index was 67 in January of this year and 60 in June of last year.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing across the board for the first time in over a month. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.91% for the week ending June 15, up from last week when it averaged 3.89%. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.54%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.18% for the week ending June 15, up from last week when it averaged 3.16%. A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.81%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 2.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 9th.

·      The import price index decreased 0.3% in May, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The overall import price index increased 2.1% from May 2016.  The export price index decreased 0.7% in May, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The price index for overall exports increased 1.4% from May 2016.

·      The producer price index for final demand was unchanged in May, following an increase of 0.5% in the previous month. The price index for final demand excluding food and energy increased 0.3%, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.4% from May 2016 to May 2017, while the index for final demand excluding food and energy increased 2.1%.

·      The consumer price index decreased 0.1% in May, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.9% for the 12-month period ending in May, while the core index rose 1.7%.

·      Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.3% from April to May. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% decrease in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 8 thousand to 237 thousand in the week ending June 10. The 4-week moving average was 243 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 3 was 1,935 thousand, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,926.75 thousand, an increase of 9 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in May in 9 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 28 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 9 states and the District of Columbia in May 2017, decreased in 4, and was essentially unchanged in 37 states. Over the year, 28 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 22 states and the District were essentially unchanged.

·      The federal government budget ran a deficit of $88.4 billion in May, after a surplus of $182.4 billion in April. In May, receipts increased 7.0% from a year ago, while outlays increased 18.7%. The deficit in May of 2016 was $52.5 billion. The cumulative deficit for the first eight months of fiscal year 2017 was $432.9 billion, $27.4 billion more than the deficit for the same period of the previous fiscal year.

·      The Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 0.25% to 1.00% to 1.25%. This was the highest rate since 2008. “The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.”

·      The June 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity rebounded strongly for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index surged from negative 1.0 to 19.8, its highest level in more than two years.

·      The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey reported that manufacturing activity in the region continued to expand in June. The headline index decreased to 27.6 in June, from 38.8 in May. The index has been positive for eleven consecutive months.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, decreased to 94.5 in early June, from the final reading of 97.1 in May. The Index was 93.5 in June of 2016. The Current Economic Conditions Index decreased to 109.6 in June, from 111.7 in May, while the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 84.7, from 87.7.

·      New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.2% in April, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month. Shipments increased less than 0.1%, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were up 4.4%, and shipments were up 4.1%.

·      Sales of merchant wholesalers in April were down 0.4% from the previous month, but were up 7.3% from April of 2016. Sales of durable goods were up 0.3% in February, while sales of nondurable goods were down 1.1%. Inventories of merchant wholesalers were down 0.5% from the previous month, but were up 1.6% from April 2016.  The April inventories/sales ratio was 1.28, compared with 1.35 a year ago.

·      U.S. selected services total revenue for the first quarter of 2017, not adjusted for seasonal variation or price changes, was $3,569.6 billion, a decrease of 1.3% from the fourth quarter of 2016, and up 6.3% from the first quarter of 2016. 

·      U.S. manufacturing corporations’ seasonally adjusted after-tax profits in the first quarter of 2017 totaled $146.5 billion, up $3.5 billion from the after-tax profits of $142.9 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016, and up $24.0 billion from the after-tax profits of $122.5 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2016.  

·      Seasonally adjusted after-tax profits of U.S. retail corporations with assets of $50 million and over totaled $21.7 billion, down $6.6 billion from the $28.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, but up $1.7 billion from the $20.0 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2016.

·      Non-farm business sector labor productivity was unchanged during the first quarter of 2017, following a 1.8% increase in the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Unit labor costs increased 2.2%, following a 4.6% decrease in the previous quarter. Productivity in the non-farm business sector increased 1.2% from the first quarter of 2016, while unit labor costs increased 1.1%.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 245 thousand in the week ending June 3. The 4-week moving average was 242 thousand, an increase of 2.25 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 27 was 1,917 thousand, a decrease of 2 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,914.75 thousand, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This was the lowest level for this average since January 12, 1974 when it was 1,881 thousand.

·      The number of job openings increased to a series high of 6.0 million on the last business day of April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires decreased to 5.1 million, while separations edged down to 5.0 million. Over the 12 months ending in April, hires totaled 62.9 million and separations totaled 60.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.2 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

·      Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $35.28 per hour worked in March 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries averaged $24.10 per hour worked and accounted for 68.3% of these costs, while benefits averaged $11.18 and accounted for the remaining 31.7%.Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $2.30 per hour worked or 6.9% of total compensation, supplemental pay averaged $1.17 (3.5%), insurance benefits averaged $2.65 (8.0%), retirement and savings averaged $1.34 (4.0%), and legally required benefits averaged $2.60 per hour worked or 7.8%.The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.50 per hour worked in private industry (7.6% of total compensation) in March 2017.

·      From December 2015 to December 2016, employment increased in 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. average weekly wage decreased 1.5% over the year, declining to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is one of only eight declines in the history of the series, which dates back to 1978. The 1.5% decline in average weekly wages was the largest decline since fourth quarter 2011, when average weekly wages decreased by 1.7%.

·      The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $94.8 trillion during the first quarter of 2017.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $47.5 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2017, of which household debt was $14.9 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $13.7 trillion, and total government debt was $18.9 trillion.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt growth was 1.4% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter of 2017, down from an annual rate of 2.8% in the previous quarter. Household debt increased at an annual rate of 3.2%, while nonfinancial business debt rose at an annual rate of 6.2%. Federal government debt decreased at an annual rate of 3.3% in the first quarter, while state and local government debt contracted at an annual rate of 3.5%.

·      April consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 2.6%. Revolving credit increased 1.8%, while non-revolving credit increased 2.9%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates falling. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.89% for the week ending June 8, down from last week when it averaged 3.94%. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.60%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.16% for the week ending June 8, down from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.87%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 7.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 2nd.

·      In May, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 89th consecutive month. Seventeen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, and one sector reported contraction in activity.

·      The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) ticked up to negative 0.82 in the week ending June 2. The index was negative 0.83 a week ago, and negative 0.66 a year ago. The risk sub-index ticked down from the previous week, while the credit and leverage sub-indexes ticked up; the nonfinancial leverage sub-index remained unchanged. The adjusted Index (ANFCI) edged down to negative 0.41, from negative 0.39 in the previous week.

·      Total non-farm payroll employment rose 138 thousand in May, following an increase of 174 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average monthly gain in employment was 181 thousand over the prior 12 months. Private-sector payrolls increased by 147 thousand in May, while government employment decreased by 9 thousand. Job gains occurred in health care and mining.

·      The unemployment rate edged down to 4.3% in May, from 4.4% in April. The unemployment rate was 4.7% in May 2016.

·      The number of unemployed decreased by 195 thousand to 6.9 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 37 thousand to 1.7 million and accounted for 24.0% of the unemployed.

·      The labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.7% in May, but has shown no clear trend over the past 12 months.

·      The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours.

·      In May, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents to $26.22. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in April than a year earlier in 322 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 46 areas, and unchanged in 20 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 297 metropolitan areas, decreased in 81 areas, and was unchanged in 10 areas.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 13 thousand to 248 thousand in the week ending May 27. The 4-week moving average was 238 thousand, an increase of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 20 was 1,915 thousand, a decrease of 9 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,914.5 thousand, a decrease of 16 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This was the lowest level for this average since January 12, 1974 when it was 1,881 thousand.

·      Personal income increased 0.4% in April, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%, after increasing 0.3% in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%, following a decrease of 0.2% in March. The core index increased 0.2%, following a decrease of 0.1% in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.7% from April 2016, while the core index was up 1.5%.

·      Sales of domestic cars decreased 4.2% in May, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 1.4%. Total vehicle sales were 16.6 million units in May, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.5 million in January 2017, and 17.1 million in May of 2016.

·      In April, international trade deficit in goods and services was $47.6 billion, up $2.3 billion from March. Exports decreased $0.5 billion to $191.0 billion, and imports increased $1.9 billion to $238.6 billion. The cumulative deficit was $186.6 billion for the first four months of 2017, compared with a deficit of $164.5 billion for the same period of the previous year.

·      April construction spending was down 1.4% from the previous month, but was up 6.7% from a year ago. Residential construction decreased 0.9% in April, while nonresidential construction decreased 1.7%. Total private construction decreased 0.7% in April, while total public construction decreased 3.7%.

·      The S & P CoreLogic 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 CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index recorded a 5.1% annual gain in March, up from 5.7% last month, and setting a 33-month high. As of March 2017, home prices were back to their winter 2007 levels. The U.S. National index was slightly above its July 2006 peak level, and 10-city and 20-city composite indices were approximately 5-6% below their June/July 2006 peaks.

·      The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 1.3% to a reading of 109.8 in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 3.3% below April 2016.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates were virtually unchanged in a short week following Memorial Day. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.94% for the week ending June 1, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.66%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.19% for the week ending June 1, unchanged from the previous week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.92%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 3.4% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 26th.

·      The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in April, decreased further in May. The Index now stands at 117.9(1985=100), down from 119.4 in April. The present situation index edged up from 140.3 to 140.7, while the expectations index declined from 105.4 to 102.6.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in May, and the overall economy grew for the 96th consecutive month. The headline index was 54.9, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the April reading of 54.8. The New Orders Index was up 2 percentage points from April, while the Production Index was down 1.5 percentage points. The Employment Index was 53.5, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the April reading of 52.

·      The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded at a moderate to modest pace from early April through late May in most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts. Boston and Chicago signaled that growth in their Districts had slowed somewhat to a modest pace since the prior report, while New York indicated that activity had flattened out.

·      The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) edged down to negative 0.86 in the week ending May 26. The Index was negative 084 a week ago, and negative 0.67 a year ago. The risk sub-index decreased slightly from the previous week, while the credit sub-index was unchanged and the leverage and nonfinancial leverage sub-indexes ticked up.