• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was also 3.0%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 5.4% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 1.9% in the first quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.6% in the second quarter of 2018, compared with an increase of 3.9% 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 2.9% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.1% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.4% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 2.0%, compared with an increase of 2.5% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.1%, compared with an increase of 2.2%.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $65.0 billion in the second quarter, after an increase of $26.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $16.5 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $9.3 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $53.0 billion, compared with an increase of $32.3 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $4.5 billion, compared with an increase of $3.7 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in August, the same increase as in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3% in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Both real disposable personal income and real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in August. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 0.1% in August, while the core index held steady.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 2.2% from August 2017, while the core index increased 2.0%. 
  • State personal income grew 4.2% on average in the second quarter of 2018, after increasing 5.0% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Increases in earnings, property income, and transfer receipts all contributed to growth in second quarter personal income. The growth in personal income ranged from 1.6% in Washington to 6.0% in Texas.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 4.5% in August, while shipments increased 0.8%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.6%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 9.2%, and shipments were up 7.3% from the same period a year ago.
  • Retail inventories for August were up 0.7% from the previous month, and were up 2.3% from August 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 
  • Wholesale inventories for August were up 0.8% from the previous month, and were up 5.1% from August 2016. 
  • The international trade deficit in goods was $75.8 billion in August, up $3.8 billion from $72.0 billion in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for August were $137.9 billion, $2.3 billion less than July exports. Imports of goods for August were $213.7 billion, $1.5 billion more than July imports.
  • The U.S. net international investment position decreased to -$8,638.5 billion (preliminary) at the end of the second quarter of 2018 from -$7,747.3 billion (revised) at the end of the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The $891.2 billion decrease was resulted from a decrease in U.S. assets and an increase in U.S. liabilities. U.S. assets decreased $587.8 billion to $27,063.6 billion at the end of the second quarter, while U.S. liabilities increased $303.4 billion to $35,702.1 billion.
  • August new home sales were up 3.5% from the previous month, and were up 2.7% from August 2017 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $320.2 thousand, 1.9% above August 2017.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 1.8% to a reading of 104.2 in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Index was down 2.3% from August 2017.
  • 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 6.4% from July 2017.
  • The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 5.5% and 5.9% in July, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. The National Index, covering all nine U.S. Census divisions, increased 6.0% from July 2017.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates surged to their highest level in over seven years. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.72% for the week ending September 27, up from last week when it averaged 4.65%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.83%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.16% for the week ending September 27, up from last week when it averaged 4.11%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.13%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 21st.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in August in 13 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 34 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eleven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 39 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 4 states and essentially unchanged in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 35 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 15 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 12 thousand to 214 thousand in the week ending September 22. The 4-week moving average was 206.25 thousand, an increase of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 15 was 1,661 thousand, an increase of 16 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,679.25 thousand, a decrease of 12.25 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. This is the lowest level for this average since November 10, 1973 when it was 1,673 thousand. 
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had improved significantly in August, increased in September. The Index now stands at 138.4 (1985=100), up from 134.7 in August. The Present Situation Index increased slightly from 172.8 to 173.1, while the Expectations Index surged from 109.3 to 115.3.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 100.1 in September, from 96.2 in August. This was only the third time the index topping 100 since January 2004. The Index was 95.1 a year ago. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased from 110.3 to 115.2, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased from 87.1 to 90.5.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate, 25 basis points, to 2.00% to 2.25%. “The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”

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