·      New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 6.8% in July, while shipments increased 0.4%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5%.  Excluding defense, new orders decreased 7.8%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 5.0%, and shipments were up 3.2% from the same period a year ago.

·      July existing home sales were down 1.3% from the previous month, but were up 2.1% from a year ago. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $258.3 thousand, 6.2% above July 2016.

·      July new home sales were down 9.4% from the previous month, and were down 8.9% from July 2016 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $313.7 thousand, 6.3% above July 2016.

·      U.S. House prices rose 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from May to June, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in June, U.S. prices rose 6.5%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of August 24th showed average fixed mortgage rates dropping to its lowest mark since November 10, 2016. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.86% for the week ending August 24th, down from last week when it averaged 3.89%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.43%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 0.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 18th.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 2 thousand to 234 thousand in the week ending August 19th. The 4-week moving average was 237.75 thousand, a decrease of 2.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for July were up 0.6% from the previous month, and were up 4.2% from July 2016. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.9% from the same period a year ago.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for June were up 0.3%, while inventories were up 0.6%. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of June was 1.38, compared with 1.40 in June 2016.

·      Total Industrial production increased 0.2% in July, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The index of industrial production in July was 2.2% above its year-ago level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 76.7%, 3.2 percentage points below its 1972-2016 average, but 0.8 percentage point above its level in July 2016.

·      Housing starts in July were down 4.8% from the previous month, and were down 5.6% from a year ago. Building permits were down down 4.1% from the previous month, but were up 4.1% from July 2016.

·      The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo National Housing Market Index (HMI) increased 4 points to 68 in August. The Index was 67 in January, and 59 a year ago.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates little changed and remained at low levels. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.89% for the week ending August 17, down from last week when it averaged 3.90%. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.43%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.16%, down from last week when it averaged 3.18%. A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.74%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 0.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 11th.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 232 thousand in the week ending August 12, a decrease of 12 thousand from the previous week’s level. The 4-week moving average was 240.5 thousand, a decrease of 0.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The import price index increased 0.1% in July, while the export price index increased 0.4%. The import price index increased 1.5% from July 2016, while export prices increased 0.8%.

·      The August 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew strongly for New York manufacturers.

·      The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for August reported growth in manufacturing activity.

·      The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.3% in July, following a 0.6%. The coincident index increased 0.3%, following a 0.1% in the previous month.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment climbed to its highest level since January. The Index was 97.6 in early August, up from 93.4 in July, and 89.8 in August 2016.

·      Sales of merchant wholesalers in June were up 0.7% from the previous month, and were up 5.5% from June of 2016. Sales of durable goods were up less than 0.1%, while sales of nondurable goods were up 1.4%. Inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.7% from the previous month, and were up 2.8% from a year ago.  The June inventories/sales ratio was 1.29, compared with 1.32 a year ago.

·      June consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 3.9%. Revolving credit increased 4.9%, while non-revolving credit increased 3.5%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.90% for the week ending August 10, down from last week when it averaged 3.93%. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.45%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.18% for the week ending August 10, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.76%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 3.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 4th.

·      The producer price index for final demand (headline index) decreased 0.1% in July, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade held steady, after an increase of 0.2% in June. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.9% for the 12 months ended in July. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also increased 1.9% during the same period.

·      The consumer price index increased 0.1% in July, after holding steady in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index (headline index) increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in July, and the core index also rose 1.7%.

·      Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.2% from June to July. This result stems from a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings being partially offset by a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 3 thousand to 244 thousand in the week ending August 5. The 4-week moving average was 241 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending July 29 was 1,951 thousand, a decrease of 16 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,965 thousand, an increase of 0.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

 

 

·      Total non-farm payroll employment rose 209 thousand in July, following an increase of 231 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 205 thousand in July, while government employment increased by 4 thousand. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services and health care. The average monthly gain in employment was 184 thousand per month thus far this year.

·      The unemployment rate edged down to 4.3% in July, from 4.4% in June. The unemployment rate was 4.9% in July 2016.

·      The number of unemployed increased by 4 thousand to 6.981 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 127 thousand to 1.785 million and accounted for 25.9% of the unemployed.

·      The labor force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 62.9% in July, but has shown no clear trend over the past 12 months.

·      The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

·      In July, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $26.36. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 336 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 45 areas, and unchanged in 7 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 342 metropolitan areas, decreased in 39 areas, and was unchanged in 7 areas.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 240 thousand in the week ending July 29. The 4-week moving average was 241.75 thousand, a decrease of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending July 22 was 1,968 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,964.75 thousand, an increase of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

·      New orders for manufactured goods increased 3.0% in June, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Shipments decreased 0.2%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were up 5.6%, and shipments were up 4.5%.

·      Sales of domestic cars increased 2.7% in July, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 0.6%. Total vehicle sales were 16.7 million units in July, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.3 million in January 2017, and 17.8 million in July of 2016.

·      June construction spending was down 1.3% from the previous month, but was up 1.6% from a year ago. Residential construction decreased 0.3% in June, while nonresidential construction decreased 2.0%. Total private construction decreased 0.1% in June, while total public construction decreased 5.4%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates were mostly unchanged. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.93% for the week ending August 3, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.92%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.43%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.18% for the week ending August 3, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.30%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.74%.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in July, and the overall economy grew for the 98th consecutive month.