·       Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 4.2%.

·       Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 1.4% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.4% in the previous quarter.

·       The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4% in the previous quarter. 

·       The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.6%, compared with an increase of 2.0%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.6%, compared with an increase of 2.1%.

·       New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.8% in September, while shipments increased 1.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%, while shipments increased 0.3%. Year-to-date new orders were up 8.9% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 7.2%. 

·       Retail inventories for September were up 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 3.1% from September 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

·       Wholesale inventories for September were up 0.3% from the previous month, and were up 5.1% from a year ago. 

·       The international trade deficit in goods was $76.0 billion in September, up $0.6 billion from $75.5 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for September were $141.0 billion, $2.5 billion more than August exports. Imports of goods for September were $217.0 billion, $3.1 billion more than August imports.

·       September new home sales decreased 5.5% to an annualized rate of 553 thousand units. The September figure was 13.2% below the September 2017 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $320.0 thousand, 3.5% below September 2017.

·       The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 0.5% to 104.6 in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 1.0% below September 2017.

·       U.S. house prices increased 0.3% 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 6.1%. 

·       The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing slightly across the board. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.86% for the week ending October 25, up from last week when it averaged 4.85%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 3.94%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.29%, up from last week when it averaged 4.26%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 3.25%.

·       Mortgage applications increased 4.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 19th. 

·       The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 5 thousand to 215 thousand in the week ending October 20. The 4-week moving average was 211.75 thousand, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 13 was 1,636 thousand, a decrease of 5 thousand from the previous week’s revised level.  This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since August 14, 1973 when it was 1,633 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,646.5 thousand, a decrease of 6.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since August 11, 1973 when it was 1,627.25 thousand.

·       The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for October decreased to 98.6, from 100.1 in September. The Index was 100.7 in October 2017.  

·       The Chicago FED National Activity Index (NAI) decreased to 0.17 in September, from 0.27 in August.

·       The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that economic activity expanded across the United States, with the majority of Districts reporting modest to moderate growth.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for September were up 0.1% from the previous month, and were up 4.7% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were down 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 5.7% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 5.4% from the first nine months of 2017.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for August increased 0.5% from July, following a 0.2% increase as in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.5%, following a 0.7% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.34 in August, compared with 1.39 a year ago.

·      Total Industrial production increased 0.3% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Total industrial production in September was 5.1% above its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization held steady at 78.1%, 1.8 percentage points below its 1972-2017 average, but 2.4 percentage points above September 2017.

·      The federal government budget ran a surplus of $119.1 billion in September, following a deficit of $214.1 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the fiscal year 2018 was $779.0, compared with the deficit of $665.8 billion in the fiscal year 2017.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 210 thousand in the week ending October 13, a decrease of 5 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 211.75 thousand, an increase of 2 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The number of jobs openings reached a series high of 7.1 million on the last business day of August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.7 million, respectively.

·      Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 117.2 million full-time wage and salary workers were $887 in the third quarter of 2018 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 3.3% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.6% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period.

·      Housing starts in September were down 5.3% from the previous month, but were up 3.7% from a year ago. Building permits were down 0.6% from the previous month, and were down 1.0% from September 2017.

·      The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased a point to 68 in October. The Index was 72 in January, and 68 in October of 2017.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates dropped slightly after weeks of steady increases. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.85% for the week ending October 18, down from last week when it averaged 4.90%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.88%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.26%, down from last week when it averaged 4.29%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.19%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 7.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 12th.

·      The October 2018 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 increased two points to 21.1, pointing to a slightly faster pace of growth than 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 decreased 0.7 point to 22.2. 

·      The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.5% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending September 2018, the leading economic index increased 2.8% (about a 5.6% annual rate), much slower than the growth of 4.1% (about 8.4% annual rate) during the previous six months. The coincident index increased 0.1% in September, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month.  The coincident economic index grew by 1.1% (about a 2.2% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in September, slightly slower than the growth of 1.3% (about 2.6% annual rate) over the previous six months.

·      August sales of merchant wholesalers were up 0.8% from the revised July level and were up 9.2% from the August 2017 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 1.0% from the previous month and were up 5.3% from the August 2017 level. The August inventories/sales ratio was 1.26, compared with 1.30 a year ago.

·      Import prices increased 0.5% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports increased 3.5% from September 2017. The price index for exports held steady in September, after decreasing 0.2% in the previous month. Prices for exports advanced 2.7% over the past year.

·      The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.2% in September, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.4%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.6% from September 2017 to September 2018, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 2.9%.

·      The consumer price index increased 0.1% in September, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.3% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 2.2%.

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

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214 thousand in the week ending October 6, an increase of 7 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 209.5 thousand, an increase of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates have risen to their highest level in seven years. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.90% for the week ending October 11, up from last week when it averaged 4.71%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.91%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.29%, up from last week when it averaged 4.15. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.21%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 1.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 5th.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for October decreased to 99.0, from 100.1 in September. The Index was 100.7 in October 2017. The Current Conditions Index decreased to 114.4, from 115.2, while the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 89.1, from 90.5.

·      Total non-farm payroll employment increased 134 thousand in September, following an increase of 270 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 121 thousand in September, while government employment increased by 13 thousand. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. The average monthly gain in employment was 201 thousand over the prior 12 months.

·      The unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% in September, from 3.9% in August. The unemployment rate was 4.2% in September 2017.

·      The number of unemployed decreased by 270 thousand to 5.964 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 52 thousand to 1.384 million and accounted for 22.9% of the unemployed.

·      The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7% in September, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 60.4%.

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

·      In September, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents to $27.24. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.8%.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 8 thousand to 207 thousand in the week ending September 29. The 4-week moving average was 207 thousand, an increase of 0.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 22 was 1,650 thousand, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,664.5 thousand, a decrease of 15.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 27, 1973 when it was 1,664.25 thousand.

·      Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 340 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 35 areas, and unchanged in 13 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 60 metropolitan areas, and was essentially unchanged in 328 areas.

·      Sales of domestic cars increased 4.2% in September, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 4.5%. Total vehicle sales were 17.4 million units in September, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.1 million in January 2018, and 18.1 million in September of 2017.

·      New orders for manufactured goods in August increased 2.3%, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.    Shipments, 0.5%, after holding steady in July. Unfilled orders were up 0.9%, while inventories were down 0.1%. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.34, down from 1.35 in July.

·      The international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $53.2 billion in August from $50.0 billion in July (revised), as exports decreased and imports increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. August exports were $209.4 billion, $1.7 billion less than July exports. August imports were $262.7 billion, $1.5 billion more than July imports.. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $31.0 billion, or 8.6%, from the same period in 2017. Exports increased $129.6 billion or 8.4%, while imports increased $160.6 billion or 8.4%.

·      State personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased on average 4.3% in 2017, compared with a 3.8% increase in 2016, according to by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percentage change in expenditures across all states ranged from 6.9% in Idaho to 2.0% in North Dakota. In 2017, across all states and the District of Columbia, per capita PCE was $40,878. Per capita PCE by state ranged from a high of $53,267 in Massachusetts to a low of $30,027 in Mississippi. Per capita PCE in the District of Columbia was $60,914.   

·      August construction spending was up 0.1% from the previous month, and was up 6.5% from a year ago. Residential construction decreased 0.7%, while nonresidential construction increased 0.7%. Total private construction decreased 0.5% in August, while total public construction increased 2.0%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing for the first time after five week of increases. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.71% for the week ending October 4, down slightly from last week when it averaged 4.72%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.85%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.15%, down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 4.16%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.15%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 2.9% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 21, 2018.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the 113th 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 104th consecutive month.