• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for October were up 0.3% from September, and were up 3.1% from October 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from September, and were up 2.8% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.4% from the first 10 months of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for September were down 0.2% from August, while inventories were up less than 0.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40, compared with 1.36 in September 2018.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.8% in October, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Total industrial production in October was 1.1% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased 0.8 percentage point to 76.7%, 3.1 percentage points below its 1972-2018 average.
  • The import price index decreased 0.5% in October, while the export price index decreased 0.1%. The import price index decreased 3.0% from October 2018 to October 2019, while the price index for exports decreased 2.2%.
  • 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 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.1% from October 2018 to October 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 1.5%.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.4% in October, after holding steady 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 1.8% for the 12-month period ending in October, while the core index rose 2.3%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.2% from September to October. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 225 thousand in the week ending November 9, an increase of 14 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 217 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Personal income increased in 3,019 counties, decreased in 91, and was unchanged in 3 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income increased 5.7% in the metropolitan portion of the United States and increased 4.8% in the nonmetropolitan portion in 2018. The change in personal income ranged from negative 3.2% in Lynn County, Texas to 17.5% in Midland County, Texas in 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates picked up last week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75% for the week ending November 14th, up from last week when it averaged 3.69%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.94%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.20% for the week ending November 14th, up from last week when it averaged 3.13%.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 9.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 8th.
  • The November 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity was little changed in New York State. The headline index edged down 1.1 points to 2.9. The prices paid index decreased 2.6 points, while the prices received index decreased 0.1 point.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the second quarter ranged from 4.7% in Texas to 0.5% in Hawaii. Professional, scientific, and technical services; government; real estate and rental and leasing; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally. Mining increased 23.5% for the nation and was the leading contributor to the increases in Texas, Wyoming, Alaska, and New Mexico—the fastest growing states.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.2% in September, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Shipments for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.2% in September, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date, new orders decreased 0.3%, while shipments increased 1.1%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers for September were virtually unchanged from the previous month, and were down 0.6% a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories decreased 0.4% in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.36 in September, compared with 1.29 a year ago.
  • The goods and services deficit was $52.5 billion in September, down $2.6 billion from $55.0 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. September exports were $206.0 billion, $1.8 billion less than August exports. September imports were $258.4 billion, $4.4 billion less than August imports. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit was $481.3 billion, up $24.8 billion from the same period in 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 211 thousand in the week ending November 2, a decrease of 8 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 215.25 thousand, an increase of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.3% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 2.1% and hours worked increased 2.4%. From the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, productivity increased 1.4%, reflecting a 2.3% increase in output and a 0.9% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 3.6% in the third quarter of 2019, reflecting a 3.3% increase in compensation per hour and a 0.3% decline in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 3.1% over the last four quarters.
  • The number of jobs openings edged down 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 little changed at 5.9 million and 4.8 million, respectively.
  • There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018, unchanged from 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The incidence rate for total recordable cases in private industry also remained unchanged from a year ago. This is the first year since 2012 that the total recordable cases rate did not decline.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates moving lower. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.69% for the week ending November 7, down from last week when it averaged 3.78%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.94%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13%, down from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.33%.
  • Mortgage applications edged down 0.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 1st.

 

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 128 thousand in October, following an increase of 180 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 131 thousand in October, while government employment decreased by 3 thousand. In October, notable job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, social assistance, and financial activities. Employment declined in motor vehicles and parts manufacturing due to strike activity. Job growth has averaged 167 thousand per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223 thousand in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate edged up to 3.6% in October, from 3.5% in September. The unemployment rate was 3.8% in October 2018.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 86 thousand to 5.855 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 50 thousand to 1.264 million and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to 63.3% in October.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.4 hours.
  • In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $28.18. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.0%.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in September according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income increased 0.3% and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%. Real disposable personal income increased 0.3% in September, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%. The personal consumption expenditures price index (headline index) and the core index both held steady in September. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.3% from September 2018, while the core index also increased 1.7%.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.0% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.0% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 2.4%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.2%, compared with an increase of 1.9%.
  • According to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 14 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 2.0% increase in real GDP in the second quarter. Professional, scientific, and technical services; real estate and rental and leasing; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter of 2019.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.1% in September, while shipments decreased 0.4%. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.3%, while shipments held steady. Year-to-date new orders were down 0.8% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 2.2%.
  • September new home sales decreased 0.7% to an annualized rate of 701 thousand units. The September figure was 15.5% above the September 2018 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $299.4 thousand, 8.8% below September 2018.
  • Total existing home sales decreased 2.2% in September from the previous month, but sales were up 3.9% from a year ago.  The median existing home price was $272.1 thousand, up 5.9% from September 2018. Total housing inventory at the end of September was 1.83 million, 2.7% below a year ago. This inventory was at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales rate, down from 4.4 month a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing and reaching their highest levels in 12 weeks. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.75% for the week ending October 24, up from last week when it averaged 3.69%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 4.86%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, up from last week when it averaged 3.15%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 4.29%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 11.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 18th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 6 thousand to 212 thousand in the week ending October 19. The 4-week moving average was 215 thousand, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 12 was 1,682 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,677.25 thousand, an increase of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for October increased to 95.5, from 93.2 in September. The Index was 98.6 in October 2018.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for September were down 0.3% from the previous month, but were up 4.1% 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 3.7% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.4% from the first nine months of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for August increased 0.2% from July, the same increase as in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories held steady, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40 in August, compared with 1.35 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.4% in September, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. Total industrial production in September was 0.1% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased to 77.5%, 2.3 percentage points below its 1972-2018 average, and 1.8 percentage points below September 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214 thousand in the week ending October 12, an increase of 4 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 214.75 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September in 7 states, higher in 4 states, and stable in 39 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 41 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 3 states in September 2019, decreased in 2, and was essentially unchanged in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 27 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 23 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 118.4 million full-time wage and salary workers were $919 in the third quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 3.6% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.8% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period.
  • Housing starts in September were down 9.4% from the previous month, but were up 1.6% from a year ago. Building permits were down 2.7% from the previous month, but were up 7.7% from September 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.69% for the week ending October 17, up from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.85%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.15%, up from last week when it averaged 3.05%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.26%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 11th.
  • The October 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew slightly in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline, general business conditions, index edged up two points to 4.0 in October, while prices paid and prices received indexes decreased.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey for October indicated continued growth in regional manufacturing. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased to 5.6. Both prices received and prices paid indexes also decreased in October.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.1% in September, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. In the six-month period ending September 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.2% (about a 0.4% annual rate), about the same rate of growth as over the previous six months. The coincident index held steady in September, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month.  The coincident economic index grew by 0.6% (about a 1.1% 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.
  • August sales of merchant wholesalers were virtually unchanged from July and were down 0.7% from the August 2018 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 6.2% from the August 2018 level. The August inventories/sales ratio was 1.36, compared with 1.28 a year ago.
  • Import prices increased 0.2% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.6% from September 2018. The price index for exports decreased 0.2% in September, after decreasing 0.6% in the previous month. Prices for exports also decreased 1.6% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for total final demand decreased 0.3% in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade held steady, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.4% from September 2018 to September 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.7%.
  • The consumer price index held steady in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 2.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from August to September. This result stems from no change in average hourly earnings, combined with no change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 7.1 million on the last business day of August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.8 million and separations were little changed at 5.6 million.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 210 thousand in the week ending October 5, a decrease of 10 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 213.75 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.57% for the week ending October 10, down from last week when it averaged 3.65%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.90%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.05%, down from last week when it averaged 3.14. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.29%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 5.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 4th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for October increased to 96.0, from 93.2 in September. The Index was 98.6 in October 2018. The Current Conditions Index increased to 113.4, from 108.5, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 84.8, from 83.4.

 

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 136 thousand in September, following an increase of 168 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 114 thousand in September, while government employment increased by 22 thousand. In September, job gains occurred in health care and in professional and business services. The average monthly gain in employment was 161 thousand thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223 thousand in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% in September, from 3.7% in August. The unemployment rate was 3.7% in September 2018.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 275 thousand to 5.769 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 71 thousand to 1.314 million and accounted for 22.7% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate remained at 63.2% in September, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 61.0%.
  • 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 decreased by a cent to $28.09. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.9%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 4 thousand to 219 thousand in the week ending September 28. The 4-week moving average was 212.5 thousand, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 21 was 1,651 thousand, a decrease of 5 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,661.5 thousand, a decrease of 5.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 224 of the 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 132 areas, and unchanged in 33 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 52 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 337 areas.
  • State personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased on average 5.1% in 2018, compared with a 4.4% increase in 2017, according to by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percentage change in expenditures across all states ranged from 7.3% in Uah to 3.6% in West Virginia. In 2018, across all states and the District of Columbia, per capita PCE was $42,757. Per capita PCE by state ranged from a high of $55,095 in Massachusetts to a low of $31,083 in Mississippi. Per capita PCE in the District of Columbia was $63,151.
  • New orders for manufactured goods in August decreased 0.1%, following a 1.4% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.    Shipments decreased 0.1%, after a 0.3% decrease in July. Unfilled orders were up 0.1%, while inventories were down less than 0.1%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 0.1%, while shipments were up 1.4%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $54.9 billion in August from $54.0 billion in July (revised), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. August exports were $207.9 billion, $0.5 billion more than July exports. August imports were $262.8 billion, $1.3 billion more than July imports. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $28.3 billion, or 7.1%, from the same period in 2018. Exports decreased $3.2 billion or 0.2%, while imports increased $25.1 billion or 1.2%.
  • August construction spending was up 0.1% from the previous month but was down 1.9% from a year ago. Residential construction increased 0.9%, while nonresidential construction decreased 0.4%. Total private construction increased less than 0.1% in August, while total public construction increased 0.4%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates held steady. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.65% for the week ending October 3, slightly up from last week when it averaged 3.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.71%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.14%, down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 3.16%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 4.15%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 8.1% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 27, 2019.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in September, and the overall economy grew for the 125th consecutive month. The headline index was 47.8, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from the August reading of 49.1. This is the lowest reading since June 2009, the last month of the Great Recession, when the index registered 46.3.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September, for the 116th consecutive month. The 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth and four sector reported contraction in September. In September, the non-manufacturing index was 52.6, 3.8 percentage points lower than the 56.4 in August. This is the lowest reading since August 2016, when the index was 51.8.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.0% in the second quarter of 2019, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was also 2.0%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 3.0% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6% in the first quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.8% in the second quarter of 2019, compared with an increase of 3.2% 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 1.9% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.2% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.8% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 2.4%, compared with an increase of 0.4% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.9%, compared with an increase of 1.1%.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $75.8 billion in the second quarter, after a decrease of $78.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $2.5 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of $22.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $34.7 billion, compared with a decrease of $108.2 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits increased $38.7 billion, compared with an increase of $7.3 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. Real disposable personal income increased 0.4%, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in August. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) held steady in August, while the core index increased 0.1%.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 1.4% from August 2018, while the core index increased 1.8%.
  • State personal income grew 5.4% on average in the second quarter of 2019, after increasing 6.2% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in personal income ranged from 7.5% in Texas to unchanged in North Dakota.
  • Housing starts in August were up 12.3% from the previous month and were up 6.6% from a year ago. Building permits were up 7.7% from the previous month and were up 12.0% from August 2018.
  • August existing home sales increased 1.3% to an annualized rate of 5,490 thousand units. The August figure was 2.6% above the August 2018 figure. There were 1,860 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.3 in August of 2018. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $278.2 thousand, 4.7% above August 2018.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased a point to 68 in September. The Index was 58 in January, and 67 in September of 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.73% for the week ending September 19, up from last week when it averaged 3.56%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.65%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.21%, up from last week when it averaged 3.09%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.11%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 13th.
  • The current account deficit decreased to $128.2 billion in the second quarter, from $136.2 billion in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The deficit decreased to 2.4% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.6% in the first quarter.
  • The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $113.4 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2019, compared with $111.6 trillion at the end of the first quarter, and $108.1 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2018.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2019, compared with an annual rate of 5.9% in the previous quarter.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $53.0 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2019, of which household debt was $15.8 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $15.7 trillion, and total government debt was $21.4 trillion.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 2 thousand to 208 thousand in the week ending September 14. The 4-week moving average was 212.25, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in August in 5 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Five states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 43 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 5 states in August 2019, decreased in 1 state, and was essentially unchanged in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 26 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 24 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.61 per hour worked in June 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries averaged $25.12 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%.
  • Retirement benefits were available to 91% of state and local government workers in March 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sixty-nine percent of state and local government workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 95% of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category had access to retirement benefits. Seventy-seven percent of private industry workers had access to and participated in employer-provided retirement benefits, referred to as the take-up rate. Retirement benefits were available to 31% of workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 88% of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category.
  • The September 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity was little changed in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline general business conditions index was 2.0 in September, lower than the August figure of 4.8.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey for September indicated that manufacturing activity continued to expand. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region was 12.0, compared with to a reading of 16.8 in August.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators held steady in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending August 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.5% (about a 1.1% annual rate). The coincident index increased 0.3%, after holding steady in the previous month. The coincident economic index grew by 0.7% (about a 1.3% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in August.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1.75% to 2.00%. The Committee indicated that “This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain.”
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for August were up 0.4% from the previous month, and were up 4.1% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up less than 0.1% from the previous month and were up 3.5% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.3% from the first eight months of 2018.
  • July 2019 sales of merchant wholesalers were up 0.3% from the previous month but were virtually unchanged from the July 2018 level. Inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 7.1% from a year ago. The July inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers was 1.36 compared with 1.27 a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for July increased 0.3% from June, following a less than 0.1% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.4%, following a less than 0.1% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40 in July, compared with 1.35 a year ago.
  • Average expenditures per consumer unit for 2018 were $61,224, a 1.9% increase from 2017 levels, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  During the same period the Consumer Price Index rose 2.4% and average pretax income increased by 6.9%. Nine of the 10 largest components of household spending increased during 2018. The 7.8% rise in personal insurance and pensions expenditures was the largest percentage increase among all major components, followed by a 2.5% rise in food. The only decrease among the largest components was a 5.6% drop in education spending.  
  • Import prices decreased 0.5% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 2.0% from August 2018. The price index for exports decreased 0.6% in August, after a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.4% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.4%, after a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.8% from August 2018 to August 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.9%.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.3% increase as in the previous month. The core index increased 0.3%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in August, while the core index rose 2.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.4% from July to August. This result stems from 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings, combined with a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 204 thousand in the week ending September 7th. The 4-week moving average was 212.5 thousand, a decrease of 4.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased slightly but stayed under 3.6% over four consecutive weeks since the fourth quarter of 2016. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.56% for the week ending September 12, up from the previous week when it averaged 3.49%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.60%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.09%, up from last week when it averaged 3.0%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.06%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 11th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for September increased to 92.0, from 89.8 in August. The Current Conditions Index increased to 106.9 in September, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 82.4.