·      Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2017, real GDP increased 1.2%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 3.0% for the second quarter of 2017.

·      Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.9% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.7% in the first quarter.

·      Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 2.9% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.7% in the first quarter.

·      The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 3.0% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter.

·      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.6% in the previous quarter.

·      The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.3%, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 0.9%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.

·      Corporate profits from current production increased $14.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017, after a decrease of $46.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $33.8 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of $40.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $59.1 billion, compared with an increase of $3.8 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $10.8 billion, compared with a decrease of $9.3 billion in the previous quarter.

·      Personal income increased 0.2% in August, and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1%. Both real disposable personal income and real personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.1% in August. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 0.2%, while the core index increased 0.1% in August.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 1.4% from August 2016, while the core index increased 1.3%. 

·      State personal income grew 0.7% on average in the second quarter of 2017, after increasing 1.4% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each of the major aggregates of personal income grew more slowly than in the first quarter. Personal income grew 1.3% in Nevada, faster than in any other state. Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia had the slowest growth in personal income.

·      New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.7% in August, while shipments increased 0.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.2%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 5.0%, and shipments were up 3.3% from the same period a year ago.

·      August new home sales were down 3.4% from the previous month, and were down 1.2% from August 2016 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $300.2 thousand, 0.4% above August 2016.

·      The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 2.6% to a reading of 106.3 in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Index was down 2.6% from August 2016.

·      The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 5.2% and 5.8% in June, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. The National Index, covering all nine U.S. Census divisions, increased 5.9% from a year ago.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates unchanged from the previous week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.83% for the week ending September 28, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.42%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13% for the week ending September 28, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.72%.

·      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 September 22nd.

·      The international trade deficit in goods was $62.9 billion in August, down $1.4 billion from $63.9 billion in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for August were $128.9 billion, $0.3 billion more than July exports. Imports of goods for August were $191.8 billion, $0.6 billion less than July imports.

·      Retail inventories for August were up 0.7% from the previous month, and were up 3.7% from August 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

·      Wholesale inventories for August were up 1.0% from the previous month, and were up 4.6% from August 2016. 

·      Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 323 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 55 areas, and unchanged in 10 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 326 metropolitan areas, decreased in 55 areas, and was unchanged in 7 areas.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 12 thousand to 272 thousand in the week ending September 23. The 4-week moving average was 277.75 thousand, an increase of 9 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 16 was 1,934 thousand, a decrease of 45 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,949.75 thousand, a decrease of 2.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September. The Index now stands at 119.8 (1985=100), down from 120.4 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 101.7 last month to 102.2.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment edged down to 95.1 in September, from 96.8 in August. The Index was 91.2 a year ago. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased from 110.9 to 111.7, while the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 87.7 to 84.4.

 

·      Housing starts in August were down 0.8% from the previous month, but were up 1.4% from a year ago. Building permits were up 5.7% from the previous month, and were up 8.3% from August 2016.

·      August existing home sales decreased 1.7% to an annualized rate of 5,350 thousand units. The August figure was 0.2% above the August 2016 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $253.5 thousand, 5.6% above August 2016.

·      U.S. house prices rose 0.2% in July, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally adjusted monthly House Price Index (HPI). House prices were up 6.3% from July 2016.

·      The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased 3 points to 64 in September. The Index was 67 in January, and 65 in September of 2016.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.83% for the week ending September 21, up from last week when it averaged 3.78%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.48%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13%, up from last week when it averaged 3.08%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.76%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 9.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 15th.

·      The current account deficit increased to $123.1 billion in the second quarter, from $113.5 billion in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The deficit increased to 2.6% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4% in the first quarter.

·      The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $96.2 trillion during the second quarter of 2017, compared with $94.5 trillion at the end of the first quarter, and $92.2 trillion at the end of 2016.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.8% in the second quarter of 2017, up from an annual rate of 1.7% in the previous quarter.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $47.9 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2017, of which household debt was $14.9 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $13.9 trillion, and total government debt was $19.1 trillion.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 23 thousand to 259 thousand in the week ending September 16. The 4-week moving average was 268.75, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since June 4, 2016 when it was 269.5 thousand.

·      Import prices increased 0.6% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following declines in the previous 3 months. Prices for imports also increased over the past 12 months, advancing 2.1%. 

·      The price index for exports also advanced 0.6% in August, after increasing 0.5% in July. Prices for exports advanced 2.3% over the past year.

·      Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 267 out of 382 metropolitan areas in 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas grew 1.7% in 2016, led by growth in professional and business services; information services; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing.

·      The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for September indicated improvement in regional manufacturing conditions. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased 5 points to a reading of 23.8 and has remained positive for 14 consecutive months. 

·      The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending August 2017, the leading economic index increased 2.3% (about a 4.7% annual rate). The coincident index held steady, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The coincident economic index grew by 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in August.

·      The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25%, and indicated that the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for August were down 0.2% from the previous month, but were up 3.2% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from August, and were up 3.6% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.8% from the first eight months of 2016.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for July increased 0.2% from June, the same increase as in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.2%, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.38 in July, compared with 1.40 a year ago.

·      Total Industrial production decreased 0.9% in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in late August, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly 0.75 percentage point. Total industrial production in August was 1.5% above its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased 0.8 percentage point to 76.1%, 3.8 percentage points below its 1972-2015 average.

·      The federal government budget ran a deficit of $107.7 billion in August, following a deficit of $42.9 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first eleven months of fiscal year 2017 was $673.7, $54.6 billion more than the deficit for the same period of the previous fiscal year.

·      The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.2% in August, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.2%, after holding steady in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.4% from August 2016 to August 2017, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.9%.

·      The consumer price index increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.1% 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 August, while the core index rose 1.7%.

·      Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.3% from July to August. This result stems from 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings, being more than offset by a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 284 thousand in the week ending September 9, a decrease of 14 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 263.25 thousand, an increase of 13 thousand from the previous week’s average.This is the highest level for this average since August 13, 2016 when it was 263.25 thousand.  Hurricanes Harvey and Irma impacted this week’s initial claims.

·      The number of jobs openings was little changed at 6.2 million on the last business day of July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were also little changed at 5.5 million and 5.3 million, respectively.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates remaining largely unchanged from last week’s year-to-date low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.78% for the week ending September 14, unchanged from the previous week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.50%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.08%, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.77%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 9.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 8th.

·      The September 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity continued to grow strongly in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline general business conditions index was 24.4 in September, slightly lower than the August figure of 25.2, which was the highest in three years.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for September decreased to 95.3, from 96.8 in August. The Current Conditions Index increased to 113.9, the highest level since November of 2000. On the other hand, the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 83.4, largely due to two hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

·      New orders for manufactured goods decreased 3.3% in July, while shipments increased 0.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders were up 0.5% in July, and shipments were up 0.4%. Year-to-date manufacturers’ new orders were up 5.6%, while shipments were up 4.7%.

·      Sales of domestic cars decreased 3.8% in August, while total light vehicle sales decreased 4.0%. Total vehicle sales were 16.0 million units in August, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.1 million in August of 2016.

·      Sales of merchant wholesalers in July were down 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 5.9% from a year ago. Sales of durable goods decreased 0.1%, while non-durable goods sales decreased less than 0.1%. In July, inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.6% from the previous month, and were up 3.3% from July 2016.

·      In July, international trade deficit increased $0.1 billion to $43.5 billion. July exports were $194.4 billion, $0.6 billion less than June exports. July imports were $238.1 billion, $0.4 billion less than June imports. Year-to-date, the deficit was $319.1 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $291.2 billion during the first seven months of 2016.

·      Second quarter productivity increased 1.5% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 0.1% increase in the previous period. Hourly compensation rose 1.8%, while unit labor costs increased 0.2%. From the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017, productivity increased 1.3%, reflecting increases in output and hours worked of 2.8% and 1.5%, respectively.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 62 thousand to 298 thousand in the week ending September 2nd. This is the highest level for initial claims since April 18, 2015. The 4-week moving average was 250.25 thousand, an increase of 13.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of September 7th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.78% for the week ending September 7th, down from last week when it averaged 3.82%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.44%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 3.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 1st.

·      In August, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 92nd consecutive month. Fifteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August, while two industries reported contraction.

·      The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across all regions in July and August.

·      Total non-farm payroll employment rose 156 thousand in August, following an increase of 189 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 165 thousand in July, while government employment decreased by 9 thousand. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, food services and drinking places, professional and technical services, health care, and mining. The average monthly gain in employment was 176 thousand per month thus far this year.

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

·      The number of unemployed increased by 151 thousand to 7.132 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 45 thousand to 1.740 million and accounted for 24.7% of the unemployed.

·      The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.9% in August.

·      The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.4 hours in August, down from 34.5 hours in the previous month.

·      In August, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $26.39. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 340 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 39 areas, and unchanged in 9 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 336 metropolitan areas, decreased in 46 areas, and was unchanged in 6 areas.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased a thousand to 236 thousand in the week ending August 26. The 4-week moving average was 236.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending August 19 was 1,942 thousand, a decrease of 12 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,951.5 thousand, a decrease of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.0% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the “second” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2017, real GDP increased 1.2%. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 2.6% for the second quarter of 2017.

·      Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 3.0% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.7% in the first quarter.

·      Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 2.9% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.7% in the first quarter.

·      The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 3.0% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter.

·      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.6% in the previous quarter.

·      The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.3%, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 0.9%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.

·      Corporate profits from current production increased $26.8 billion in the second quarter of 2017, after a decrease of $46.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $29.4 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of $40.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $64.8 billion, compared with a decrease of $9.3 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $8.6 billion, compared with a decrease of $9.3 billion in the previous quarter.

·      Personal income increased 0.4% in July, and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures, both the headline index and the core index, increased 0.1% in July.  Bothe the headline index and the core index were up 1.4% from July 2016.

·      Retail inventories for July were down 0.2% from the previous month, but were up 3.3% from July 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

·      Wholesale inventories for July were up 0.4% from the previous month, and were up 3.2% from July 2016. 

·      The international trade deficit in goods was $65.1 billion in July, up $1.1 billion from $64.0 billion in June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for July were $127.1 billion, $1.6 billion less than June exports. Imports of goods for July were $192.2 billion, $0.5 billion less than June imports.

·      July construction spending was down 0.6% from the previous month, but was up 1.8% from a year ago. Residential construction increased 0.8%, while nonresidential construction decreased 1.7%. Total private construction decreased 0.4%, while total public construction decreased 1.4%.

·      The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 0.8% to a reading of 109.1 in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Index was down 1.3% from July 2016.

·      The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 4.9% and 5.7% in June, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. The National Index, covering all nine U.S. Census divisions, increased 5.8% from a year ago.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates continuing to move lower. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.82% for the week ending August 31, down from last week when it averaged 3.86%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.46%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.12% for the week ending August 31, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.16%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.77%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 2.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 25th.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in August, and the overall economy grew for the 99th consecutive month.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 97.6 in August, from 93.4 in July.  The Index was 89.8 a year ago.

·      The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in July, improved further in August. The Index now stands at 122.9 (1985=100), up from 120.0 in July. The Present Situation Index increased from 145.4 to 151.2, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 103.0 last month to 104.0.