• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 3.2% increase in the previous quarter, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the “second” estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 2.5%.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 0.9% in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4% in the third quarter.
  • The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 1.9% in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.8% in the third quarter
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.5% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.7% increase in the third quarter. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 2.7%, compared with an increase of 1.5%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.9%, compared with an increase of 1.3%.
  • Real GDP increased 2.3% in the year 2017, following an increase of 1.5% in 2016. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8% in 2017, compared with an increase of 1.0% in 2016. The PCE price index increased 1.7%, compared with an increase of 1.2%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.
  • Current-dollar GDP increased 4.1%, or $766.1 billion, in 2017 to a level of $19,390.6 billion, compared with an increase of 2.8%, or $503.8 billion, in 2016
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, after an increase of $90.2 billion in the previous quarter. For the year 2017, profits from current production increased $91.2 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $44.0 billion in 2016.
  • Personal income increased 0.4%, in February, the same increase as in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in February, the same increase as in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in February, following an increase of 0.4% in the previous month. The price index excluding food and energy increased 0.2% in February, after a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The price index increased 1.8% from February 2017, while the price index excluding food and energy increased 1.6%.
  • Retail inventories for February were up 0.4% from January 2018, and were up 2.5% from February 2017.
  • Wholesale inventories for February were up 1.1% from January 2018, and were up 5.7% from February 2017.
  • In February international trade deficit was $75.4 billion, $0.1 billion more than the January figure. February exports were $136.5 billion, $2.9 billion more than January exports. January imports were $211.9 billion, $3.0 billion more than January imports.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.1% to a reading of 107.5 in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was 4.1% below February 2017 level.
  • The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index for January indicates that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The National index, seasonally adjusted, was up less than 0.1% in January, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The National index, not seasonally adjusted, and was up 6.2% from January 2017. As of January 2018, average home prices were 6.3% above their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates holding largely steady for the week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.44% for the week ending March 29, down from last week when it averaged 4.45%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.14%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90%, down from last week when it averaged 3.91%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.39%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 4.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 23rd.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 12 thousand to 215 thousand in the week ending March 24. This is the lowest level for initial claims since January 27, 1973 when it was 214 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 224.5 thousand, a decrease of 0.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 17 was 1,871 thousand, an increase of 35 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,861.5 thousand, a decrease of 12.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 5, 1974 when it was 1,838.5 thousand.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in February, decreased March. The Index decreased to 127.7 in March, from 130.0 in February. The expectations index decreased from 109.2 to 106.2, while the present situation index decreased from 161.2 to 159.9.
  • The Chicago FED National Activity Index rose to 0.88 in February, from 0.02 in January. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from January. The index’s three-month moving average increased to 0.37 in February, from 0.16 in January.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 101.4 in March, from 99.7 in February. This was the highest level since 2004. The Current Conditions Index rose from 114.9 to 121.2, and set a new all-time peak. The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 88.8 in March, from 90.0 in February.

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