• Sales of merchant wholesalers for September were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 7.8% a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.4% in September, following a 0.9% increase in the previous month. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.26 in September, compared with 1.29 a year ago.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.6% in October, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.2%. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.9% from October 2017 to October 2018, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 2.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214 thousand in the week ending November 3, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 213.75 thousand, a decrease of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of jobs openings decreased to 7.0 million on the last business day of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were both little changed at 5.7 million.
  • From December 2017 to March 2018, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector establishments were 7.4 million, a decrease of 420 thousand jobs from the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment gain of 740 thousand jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2018.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 308 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 58 areas, and unchanged in 22 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 58 metropolitan areas, decreased in one area, and was essentially unchanged in 329 areas.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates rose significantly across the board. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.94% for the week ending November 8, up from last week when it averaged 4.83%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.90%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.33%, up from last week when it averaged 4.23%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.24%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 2nd.

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