·       Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.0% in the third quarter of 2017, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2017, real GDP increased 3.1%.

·       Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.3% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.9% in the previous quarter.

·       The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2% in the third quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 1.0% in the previous quarter. 

·       The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 0.3%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 0.9%.

·       New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.2% in September, while shipments increased 1.0%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.7%, while shipments increased 0.8%. Year-to-date new orders were up 5.2% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 3.4%. 

·       Retail inventories for September were down 1.0% from the previous month, but were up 2.1% from September 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

·       Wholesale inventories for September were up 0.3% from the previous month, and were up 4.6% from a year ago. 

·       The international trade deficit in goods was $64.1 billion in September, up $0.8 billion from $63.3 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for September were $129.6 billion, $0.9 billion more than August exports. Imports of goods for September were $193.7 billion, $1.7 billion more than August imports.

·       September new home sales increased 18.9% to an annualized rate of 667 thousand units. The September figure was 17.0% above the September 2016 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $319.7 thousand, 1.6% above September 2016.

·       The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, held steady at 106.0 in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 3.5% below September 2016.

·       U.S. house prices increased 0.7% in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in August, U.S. house prices rose 6.6%. 

·       The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates hitting their highest marks since July. 30-year fixedrate mortgage averaged 3.94% for the week ending October 26, up from last week when it averaged 3.88%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 3.47%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%, up from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 2.78%.

·       Mortgage applications decreased 4.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 20th. 

·       The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 233 thousand in the week ending October 21. The 4-week moving average was 239.5 thousand, a decrease of 9 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 14 was 1,893 thousand, a decrease of 3 thousand from the previous week’s revised level.  This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 29, 1973 when it was 1,805 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,903.5 thousand, a decrease of 4.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 12, 1974 when it was 1,881 thousand.

·       The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for October increased to 100.7, from 95.1 in September. The Index was 87.2 in October 2016. 

·       The Chicago FED National Activity Index (NAI) increased to 0.17 in September, from negative 0.37 in August. The Index was negative 0.04 in September of 2016. The index’s 3-month moving average held steady at negative 0.16 in September. 

  • Total Industrial production increased 0.3% in September, following a 0.7% decrease in the previous month. There were major revisions in July and August figures. The estimated effect of Hurricanes was to hold down the growth in total production in September by 0.25 percentage point. Total industrial production in September was 1.6% above its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization increased 0.2 percentage point to 76.0%, 3.9 percentage points below its 1972-2016 average.
  • September existing home sales increased 0.7% to an annualized rate of 5,390 thousand units. The September figure was 1.5% below the September 2016 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $245.1 thousand, 4.2% above September 2016. 
  • Housing starts in September were down 4.7% from the previous month, but were up 6.1% from a year ago. Building permits were down 4.5% from the previous month, and were down 4.3% from September 2016.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased 4 points to 68 in October. The Index was 67 in January, and 69 in October of 2016.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.88% for the week ending October 19, down from last week when it averaged 3.91%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.52%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.19%, down from last week when it averaged 3.21%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.79%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 3.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 13th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 22 thousand to 222 thousand in the week ending October 14. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 31, 1973 when it was 222 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 248.25, a decrease of 9.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 114.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $859 in the third quarter of 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 3.9% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.0% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period.
  • Import prices increased 0.7% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month. Prices for imports increased 2.7% from September 2016. The price index for exports advanced 0.8% in September, after increasing 0.7% in the previous month. Prices for exports advanced 2.9% over the past year.
  • The October 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew at a robust pace in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline, general business conditions, index increased to 30.2, its highest in three years in October, from 24.4 in September.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for October indicated continued growth in regional manufacturing. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased 4.1 points to 27.9, a highest reading since May. 
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.2% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending September 2017, the leading economic index increased 1.7% (about a 3.5% annual rate), slower that the growth of 2.2% (about 4.4% annual rate) during the previous six months. The coincident index, which held steady in August, increased 0.1% in September. The coincident economic index grew by 0.7% (about a 1.4% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in September, slightly slower than the growth of 1.0% (about 1.9% annual rate) over the previous six months.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that all twelve Federal Reserve Districts reported that economic activity increased in September through early October, with the pace of growth split between modest and moderate. The Richmond, Atlanta, and Dallas Districts reported major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for September were up 1.6% from the previous month, and were up 4.4% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 1.0% from the previous month, and were up 4.6% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.8% from the first nine months of 2016.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for August increased 0.7% from July, following a 0.3% increase as in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.7%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.38 in August, compared with 1.40 a year ago.

·      The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.4% in September, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.6% from September 2016 to September 2017, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 2.1%.

·      The consumer price index increased 0.5% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.2% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.2% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 1.7%.

·      Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1% from August to September. This result stems from 0.5% increase in average hourly earnings, being offset by a 054% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 243 thousand in the week ending October 7, a decrease of 15 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 257.5 thousand, a decrease of 9.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria impacted this week’s initial claims.

·      The number of jobs openings was little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were also little changed at 5.4 million and 5.2 million, respectively.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates posting biggest week-over-week increases since July 2017. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.91% for the week ending October 12, up from last week when it averaged 3.85%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.47%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.21%, up from last week when it averaged 3.15. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.76%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 2.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 6th.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for October surged to 101.1, from 95.1 in September. The Current Conditions Index increased to 116.4, from 111.7. On the other hand, the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 91.3, from 84.4.

  • Total non-farm payroll employment decreased 33 thousand in September, following an increase of 169 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls decreased by 40 thousand in September, while government employment increased by 7 thousand. A sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. The average monthly gain in employment was 172 thousand per month thus far this year.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 4.2% in September, from 4.4% in August. The unemployment rate was 4.9% in September 2016.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 331 thousand to 6.801 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 7 thousand to 1.733 million and accounted for 25.5% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.1% in September, 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 September, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by12 cents to $26.55. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.9%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 12 thousand to 260 thousand in the week ending September 30. The 4-week moving average was 268.25 thousand, a decrease of 9.5 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 23 was 1,938 thousand, an increase of 2 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,947 thousand, a decrease of 3.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • August sales of merchant wholesalers were up 1.7% from the revised July level and were up 7.2% from the August 2016 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 14.7% in September, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 15.3%. Total vehicle sales were 18.5 million units in September, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.3 million in January 2017, and 17.7 million in July of 2016.
  • August construction spending was up 0.5% from the previous month, and was up 2.5% from a year ago. Both residential and nonresidential construction increased 0.5%. Total private construction increased 0.4% in September, while total public construction increased 0.7%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing for the week ending October 5th. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.85% for the week ending October 5, up from last week when it averaged 3.83%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.15%, up from the previous week when it averaged 3.13%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.4% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 29, 2017.
  • In August, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2%, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7.0%, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 3.2%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $42.4 billion in August from $43.6 billion in July (revised), as exports increased and imports decreased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the 100th consecutive month.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September, for the 93rd consecutive month.