·      New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.2% in October, while shipments increased 0.1%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%.  Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.8%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 4.9%, and shipments were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.

·      Existing home sales increased 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October, from 5.37 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in October was $247.0 thousand, up 5.5% from October 2016. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2% from the previous month, and 10.4% from a year ago, to 1.8 million. Unsold inventory was at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.2 months in September.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropping slightly after last week’s jump. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.92% for the week ending November 22nd, down from last week when it averaged 3.95%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.03%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.32% for the week ending November 22nd, up from last week when it averaged 3.31%.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 239 thousand in the week ending November 18, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 239.75 thousand, an increase of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 11 was 1,904 thousand, an increase of 36 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 1,890 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The Conference Board’s leading economic index surged 1.2% in October, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The coincident index increased 0.3%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 2.9% (about a 5.9% annual rate) with nine out of ten components advancing, while the coincident index increased 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate) with all four components advancing.

·      The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was 0.65 in October, up from 0.36 in September. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to 0.28 in October from 0.01 in September. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 98.5 in November, from 100.7 in October. The Index was 93.8 in November of 2016. The Current Conditions Index decreased from 116.5 in October to 113.5 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 90.5 to 88.9.

·      Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for October were up 0.2% from September, and were up 4.6% from October 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.1% from September, and were up 4.3% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 4.0% from the first 10 months of 2016.

·      Total manufacturing and trade sales for September were up 1.4% from August, while inventories were up less than 0.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.36, compared with 1.40 in September 2016.

·      Total Industrial production increased 0.9% in October, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Total industrial production in October was 2.9% above its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization increased 0.4 percentage point to 77.0%, 2.9 percentage points below its 1972-2016 average.

·      The federal government budget ran a deficit of $63.2 billion in October, following a surplus of $8.0 billion in the previous month. The deficit was $45.8 billion in October 2016.

·      Housing starts in October were up 13.7% from the previous month, but were down 2.9% from October 2016. Building permits in October were up 5.9% from September, and were up 0.9% from a year ago.

·      The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased 2 points to 70 in November. The Index was 67 in January 2017, and 63 in November of 2016.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates moving higher. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57% for the week ending November 10th, up from last week when it averaged 3.54%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 3.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 10th.

·      The consumer price index increased 0.1% in October, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.0% for the 12-month period ending in October, while the core index rose 1.8%.

·      The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.4% in October, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.2%. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.8% from October 2016 to October 2017.

·      The import price index increased 0.2% in October, while the export price index held steady. The import price index increased 2.5% from October 2016 to October 2017, while the price index for exports increased 2.7%.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 249 thousand in the week ending November 11, an increase of 10 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 237.75 thousand, an increase of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1% from September to October. This result stems from no change in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index.

·      The November 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity continued to grow strongly in New York State. The headline index was 19.4 in November, compared with 30.2 in October.

·      The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in November.  The headline index was 22.7 in November, compared with 27.9 in October.

  • Sales of merchant wholesalers for September were up 1.3% from the previous month, and were up 8.5% a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.3% in September, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.27 in September, compared with 1.32 a year ago.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 239 thousand in the week ending November 4, an increase of 10 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 231.25 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of jobs openings was little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were also little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.
  • Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.6% in September. Revolving credit increased 7.7%, while non-revolving credit increased 6.3%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.57% for the week ending November 10, up from last week when it averaged 3.54%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.98%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.88%, up from last week when it averaged 2.84%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.20%.
  • Mortgage applications remained unchanged 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 November declined to 97.8, from the final reading of 100.7 in October. The Current Conditions Index decreased to 113.6, from 116.5, while the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 87.6, from 90.5.

 

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 261 thousand in October, following an increase of 18 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 252 thousand in October, while government employment increased by 9 thousand. Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In October, job gains also occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 4.1% in October, from 4.2% in September. The unemployment rate was 4.8% in October 2016.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 281 thousand to 6.520 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 112 thousand to 1.621 million and accounted for 24.8% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.4 percentage point to 62.7% in October, but has shown little movement over the past 12 months.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours.
  • In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by a cent to $26.53. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.4%.
  • Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in September 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.5% for the 12-month period ending in September 2017. In September 2016, compensation costs increased 2.3%. Wages and salaries increased 2.5% for the 12-month period ending in September 2017, while benefit costs increased 2.4%.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3.0% during the third quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 3.8% and hours worked increased 0.8%. From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, productivity increased 1.5%, reflecting a 2.9% increase in output and a 1.4% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 0.5% in the third quarter of 2017, reflecting a 3.5% increase in hourly compensation and a 3.0% increase in productivity. Unit labor costs decreased 0.1% over the last four quarters.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 229 thousand in the week ending October 28. The 4-week moving average was 232.5 thousand, a decrease of 7.25 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 7, 1973 when it was 232.25 thousand. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 21 was 1,884 thousand, a decrease of 15 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 1,895.75 thousand, a decrease of 9.25 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.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 345 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 33 areas, and unchanged in 10 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sixty-four areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0% and two areas had rates of at least 10.0%. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 309 metropolitan areas, decreased in 72 areas, and was unchanged in 7 areas.
  • According to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 17 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.1% increase in real GDP in the second quarter. Mining, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care and social assistance were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Personal income increased 0.4% in September according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income increased 0.4% and personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0%. Real disposable personal income decreased less than 0.1% in September, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.6%. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.4%, while the core index (excluding food and energy) increased 0.1%. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.6% from September 2016, while the core index increased 1.3%.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 4.5% in October, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 2.6%. Total vehicle sales were 18.0 million units in October, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.3 million in January 2017, and 17.8 million in October of 2016.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.4% in September, while shipments increased 0.8%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 5.6%, while shipments were up 4.7%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $43.5 billion in September from $42.8 billion in August (revised), as exports increased to $196.8 billion and imports increased to $240.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • September construction spending was up 0.3% from the previous month, and was up 2.0% from a year ago. Residential construction increased less than 0.1%, while nonresidential construction increased 0.5%. Total private construction decreased 0.4% in September, while total public construction increased 2.6%.
  • The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 6.1% annual gain in August, up from 5.9% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 5.3%, up from 5.2% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.9% year-over-year gain, up from 5.8% the previous month.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates held relatively flat for the week ending November 2nd. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.94% for the week ending November 2, unchanged from last week. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.27%, up slightly from the previous week when it averaged 3.25%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.6% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 27, 2017.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved marginally in September, increased again in October. The Index now stands at 125.9 (1985=100), up from 120.6 in September. The Present Situation Index increased from 146.9 to 151.1, while the Expectations Index rose from 103.0 to 109.1.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 101st consecutive month.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October, for the 94th consecutive month.

 

·       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.

·      Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2017, real GDP increased 1.2%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 3.0% for the second quarter of 2017.

·      Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.9% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.7% in the first quarter.

·      Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 2.9% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.7% 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 3.0% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter.

·      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 2.6% in the previous quarter.

·      The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.3%, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 0.9%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.

·      Corporate profits from current production increased $14.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017, after a decrease of $46.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $33.8 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of $40.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $59.1 billion, compared with an increase of $3.8 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $10.8 billion, compared with a decrease of $9.3 billion in the previous quarter.

·      Personal income increased 0.2% in August, and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1%. Both real disposable personal income and real personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.1% in August. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 0.2%, while the core index increased 0.1% in August.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 1.4% from August 2016, while the core index increased 1.3%. 

·      State personal income grew 0.7% on average in the second quarter of 2017, after increasing 1.4% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each of the major aggregates of personal income grew more slowly than in the first quarter. Personal income grew 1.3% in Nevada, faster than in any other state. Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia had the slowest growth in personal income.

·      New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.7% in August, while shipments increased 0.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.2%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 5.0%, and shipments were up 3.3% from the same period a year ago.

·      August new home sales were down 3.4% from the previous month, and were down 1.2% from August 2016 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $300.2 thousand, 0.4% above August 2016.

·      The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 2.6% to a reading of 106.3 in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Index was down 2.6% from August 2016.

·      The S & P Corelogic Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 5.2% and 5.8% in June, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. The National Index, covering all nine U.S. Census divisions, increased 5.9% from a year ago.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates unchanged from the previous week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.83% for the week ending September 28, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.42%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13% for the week ending September 28, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.72%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 0.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 22nd.

·      The international trade deficit in goods was $62.9 billion in August, down $1.4 billion from $63.9 billion in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for August were $128.9 billion, $0.3 billion more than July exports. Imports of goods for August were $191.8 billion, $0.6 billion less than July imports.

·      Retail inventories for August were up 0.7% from the previous month, and were up 3.7% from August 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

·      Wholesale inventories for August were up 1.0% from the previous month, and were up 4.6% from August 2016. 

·      Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 323 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 55 areas, and unchanged in 10 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 326 metropolitan areas, decreased in 55 areas, and was unchanged in 7 areas.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 12 thousand to 272 thousand in the week ending September 23. The 4-week moving average was 277.75 thousand, an increase of 9 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 16 was 1,934 thousand, a decrease of 45 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,949.75 thousand, a decrease of 2.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.

·      The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September. The Index now stands at 119.8 (1985=100), down from 120.4 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 101.7 last month to 102.2.

·      The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment edged down to 95.1 in September, from 96.8 in August. The Index was 91.2 a year ago. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased from 110.9 to 111.7, while the Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 87.7 to 84.4.

 

·      Housing starts in August were down 0.8% from the previous month, but were up 1.4% from a year ago. Building permits were up 5.7% from the previous month, and were up 8.3% from August 2016.

·      August existing home sales decreased 1.7% to an annualized rate of 5,350 thousand units. The August figure was 0.2% above the August 2016 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $253.5 thousand, 5.6% above August 2016.

·      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 6.3% from July 2016.

·      The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased 3 points to 64 in September. The Index was 67 in January, and 65 in September of 2016.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.83% for the week ending September 21, up from last week when it averaged 3.78%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.48%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13%, up from last week when it averaged 3.08%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.76%.

·      Mortgage applications decreased 9.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 15th.

·      The current account deficit increased to $123.1 billion in the second quarter, from $113.5 billion in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The deficit increased to 2.6% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4% in the first quarter.

·      The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $96.2 trillion during the second quarter of 2017, compared with $94.5 trillion at the end of the first quarter, and $92.2 trillion at the end of 2016.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.8% in the second quarter of 2017, up from an annual rate of 1.7% in the previous quarter.

·      Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $47.9 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2017, of which household debt was $14.9 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $13.9 trillion, and total government debt was $19.1 trillion.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 23 thousand to 259 thousand in the week ending September 16. The 4-week moving average was 268.75, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since June 4, 2016 when it was 269.5 thousand.

·      Import prices increased 0.6% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following declines in the previous 3 months. Prices for imports also increased over the past 12 months, advancing 2.1%. 

·      The price index for exports also advanced 0.6% in August, after increasing 0.5% in July. Prices for exports advanced 2.3% over the past year.

·      Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 267 out of 382 metropolitan areas in 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas grew 1.7% in 2016, led by growth in professional and business services; information services; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing.

·      The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for September indicated improvement in regional manufacturing conditions. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased 5 points to a reading of 23.8 and has remained positive for 14 consecutive months. 

·      The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending August 2017, the leading economic index increased 2.3% (about a 4.7% annual rate). The coincident index held steady, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The coincident economic index grew by 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in August.

·      The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25%, and indicated that the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation.