• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were up 0.3% from November and were up 5.8% from December 2018.  Total sales for the year 2019 were up 3.6% from the year 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were up 0.7% from October and were up 1.0% from November 2018. Inventories were down 0.2% from the previous month but were up 2.8% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of November was 1.39, compared with 1.37 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.3% in December, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. The index was 1.0% below the level in December 2018. The manufacturing index was up 0.2% in December, while the index for utilities was down 5.6%. The index for mining was up 1.3% in December. Total Industrial production for the year 2019 was down 0.9% from the previous year.
  • The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 77.0% in December, compared with 77.4 in November of 2019, and 79.5 in December of 2018. The average for the index was 79.8 during 1972-2018 period.
  • Housing starts in December were 1,608 thousand, up 16.9% from the previous month and were up 40.8% from a year ago. Building permits in December were 1,416 thousand units, down 3.9% from the previous month, but were up 5.8% from December 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates generally hold steady. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.65% for the week ending January 16, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.64%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.45%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.09%, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.07%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.88%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 30.2% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 10, 2020.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $13.3 billion in December, after a deficit of $208.8 billion in the previous month. The cumulative deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year 2020 was $356.6 billion, compared with the deficit of $318.8 billion for the first three months of the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index in December was up 0.3% from November and was up 0.5% from December of 2018. The export price index was down 0.2% from November and was down 0.7% from December of 2018.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.1% in December, after holding steady in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.1% in December, after posting no change in the previous month. The headline index increased 1.3% from December 2018 to December 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.5%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) rose 0.2% in December, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.1%, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.3% for the 12-month period ending in December. The core index rose also 2.3%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.2% from November to December. This result stems from a 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.2% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 10 thousand to 204 thousand in the week ending January 11. The 4-week moving average was 216.25 thousand, a decrease of 7.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 4 was 1,767 thousand, a decrease of 37 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,755.5 thousand, an increase of 10.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The number of job openings decreased 561 thousand to 6.8 million on the last business day of November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 118.3 million full-time wage and salary workers were $936 in the fourth quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 4.0% 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.  Women had median weekly earnings of $843, or 82.5% of the $1,022 median for men.
  • The January 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew slightly in New York State. The headline general business conditions index increased 1.5 points to 4.8. The prices paid index increased 16.3 points, while the prices received index increased 10.1 points. Looking ahead, firms were less optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month. The index for future business conditions edged down three points to 23.6.
  • The Philadelphia FED’s manufacturing business outlook survey for January 2020 reported that economic growth continued in the region. The index for current manufacturing activity increased from 2.4 in December to 17.0 in January. The prices paid index increased 6.2 points, while the prices received index increased 3.7 points in January.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that economic activity generally continued to expand in the final six weeks of 2019. Consumer spending grew at a modest to moderate pace. Manufacturing activity was essentially flat in most Districts. Business in nonfinancial services was growing modestly. New residential construction expanded modestly. Agricultural conditions were little changed, as was activity in the energy sector. In many Districts, tariffs and trade uncertainty continued to weigh on some businesses. Expectations for the near-term outlook remained modestly favorable across the nation. Most Districts cited widespread labor shortages as a factor constraining job growth, and, in a few cases, business expansion. Wage growth was modest or moderate in most Districts. Prices and input costs continued to rise at a modest pace. A few Districts indicated that some businesses were passing along tariff costs to consumers, mostly in retail but also in construction. Some Districts noted that restaurants were being pressured by rising food prices.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 145 thousand in December, following an increase of 256 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 139 thousand in December, while government employment increased by 6 thousand. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs. Payroll employment rose by 2.1 million in the year 2019, compared with a gain of 2.7 million in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in December, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 58 thousand to 5.753 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.9%, and the number of unemployed persons was 6.286 million
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 33 thousand to 1.186 million and accounted for 20.5% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 533 thousand.
  • The labor force participation rate remained at 63.2% in December, and little changed over the year.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in December.
  • In December, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $28.32. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.9%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 9 thousand to 214 thousand in the week ending January 4. The 4-week moving average was 224 thousand, a decrease of 9.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 28 was 1,803 thousand, an increase of 75 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level of 1,728 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,744.75 thousand, an increase of 33 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average of 1,711.75 thousand.

 

  • Construction spending during November 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,324.1 billion, 0.6% above the revised October estimate. The November figure is 4.1% above the November 2018 figure. During the first eleven months of this year, construction spending amounted to $1,201.6 billion, 0.8% below the same period in 2018.  Pending on private construction was up 0.4% in November, while spending on public construction was up 0.9%.
  • Mortgage rates decreased slightly during the week, according to Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.72% for the week ending January 2, 2020, slightly down from last week when it averaged 3.74%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.51%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.16%, down from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.99%.
  • Retail inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $661.9 billion, down 0.7% from October 2019, but were up 2.4% from November 2018.
  • Wholesale inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $674.7 billion, virtually unchanged from October 2019, and were up 3.2% from November 2018.
  • The international trade deficit was $63.2 billion in November, down $3.6 billion from $66.8 billion in October.  Exports of goods for November were $136.4 billion, $0.9 billion more than October exports. Imports of goods for November were $199.6 billion, $2.7 billion less than October imports.
  • The U.S. net international investment position, the difference between U.S. residents’ foreign financial assets and liabilities, was –$10.95 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). At the end of the second quarter, the net investment position was –$10.61 trillion.
  • U.S. assets increased by $286.8 billion, to a total of $28.26 trillion, at the end of the third quarter, driven by increases in financial derivatives other than reserves. U.S. liabilities increased by $624.9 billion, to a total of $39.21 trillion, at the end of the third quarter, reflecting increases in all major categories of liabilities.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 223 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 137 areas, and unchanged in 29 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 51 metropolitan areas and was unchanged in 338 areas.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 222 thousand in the week ending December 28. The 4-week moving average was 233.25 thousand, an increase of 4.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018 when it was 235.75 thousand.
  • Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in December, and the overall economy grew for the 128th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The December PMI registered 47.2, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the November reading of 48.1. This is the PMI’s lowest reading since June 2009, when it registered 46.3.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for December increased to 99.3, from 96.8 in November. The Index was 98.3 in December 2018. The Current Conditions Index increased to 115.5, from 111.6, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 88.9, from 87.3.

 

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in November decreased 2.0%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, following a 0.2% October increase.  Excluding transportation, new orders were virtually unchanged.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.8%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month
  • Sales of new single‐family houses in November 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 719,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This is 1.3% above October and is 16.9%above the November 2018 estimate. The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2019 was $330,800.The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 323,000.  This represents a supply of 5.4 months at the current sales rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 26th showed little change in mortgage rates. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 374% for the week ending December 26, little changed from last week when it averaged 4.62%. A year ago at this time the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.55%.15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19%, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time the 15-year fixed rate averaged 4.01%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 20th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 222 thousand in the week ending December 21, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 228 thousand, an increase of 2.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0%.  In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was also 2.1%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.1% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.0% in the previous quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 2.1% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9% in the second quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 2.1% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.4% in the second 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 2.1%, compared with an increase of 1.9%.
  • Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) decreased $4.7 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $75.8 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $4.7 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $2.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $5.5 billion, compared with an increase of $34.7 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $5.5 billion, in contrast to an increase of $38.7 billion.
  • Personal income increased 0.5% in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased 0.5% and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 0.4%. Real DPI increased 0.4%, and real PCE increased 0.3%. The PCE price index increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index also increased 0.1%. The PCE price index increased 1.5% from a year ago, while the core (PCE excluding food and energy) price index increased 1.6%.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.1% in November, following a decrease of 0.9% in the previous month. Total Industrial production was down 0.8% from November 2018. The capacity utilization rate was 77.3 in November, 2.5 percentage points below the average for the 1972-2018 period, and 2.3 percentage points above the November 2018 level.
  • The U.S. current-account deficit decreased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the third quarter of 2019 from $125.2 billion (revised) in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit edged down to 2.3% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), from 2.4% in the second quarter. The $1.1 billion decrease in the current-account deficit reflected a reduced deficit on goods and an expanded surplus on primary income.
  • State personal income increased 3.8% on average in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, state personal income increased 4.4%. Personal income increased in all states and the District of Columbia. The percent change in personal income across all states ranged from 15.2% in South Dakota and Washington to 1.9% in West Virginia and Wyoming.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in November in 7 states, higher in 5 states, and stable in 38 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 6 states in November 2019, decreased in 1, and was essentially unchanged in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 25 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 25 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • The number of job openings edged up to 7.3 million on the last business day of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 3.3% from November 2018. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, sales were up 0.1% from the previous month, and were up 3.0% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales and food services were up 3.4% from the same period of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were down 0.1% from the previous month and were down 0.1% from October 2018. Total business inventories were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 3.1% from a year ago. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.40, compared to 1.36 in October of 2018.
  • 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
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) first official release of gross domestic product (GDP) by county for 2001-2018 was made available.  In 2018, real (inflation adjusted) GDP increased in 2,375 counties, decreased in 717, and was unchanged in 21 counties.  Real GDP ranged from $18.4 million in Issaquena County, Mississippi to $710.9 billion in Los Angeles County, California. Of the 141 large counties, those with populations greater than 500,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 136 and decreased in 5.   Of the 464 medium-sized counties, those with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 433, decreased in 30, and was unchanged in 1. Of the 2,508 small counties, those with populations less than 100,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 1,806, decreased in 682, and was unchanged in 20.
  • Import prices increased 0.2% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.3% from November 2018. The price index for exports increased 0.2% in November, after decreasing 0.1% in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.3% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) held steady in November, following an increase of 0.4% in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also held steady, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 1.1% from November 2018 to November 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 1.3%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in November, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.1% for the 12-month period ending in November. The core index rose 2.3% from a year ago.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from October to November. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.3% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 49 thousand to 252 thousand in the week ending December 7. The 4-week moving average was 224 thousand, an increase of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 30 was 1,667 thousand, a decrease of 31 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,676, a decrease of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.2% during the third quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 2.3% and hours worked increased 2.5%. From the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, productivity increased 1.5%, reflecting a 2.3% increase in output and a 0.9% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 2.5% in the third quarter of 2019, reflecting a 2.3% increase in hourly compensation and a 0.2% decrease in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 2.2% over the last four quarters.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 266 thousand in November, following an increase of 156 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 254 thousand in November, while government employment increased by 12 thousand. In November, notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, and financial activities, while mining lost jobs.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% in November, from 3.6% in October. The unemployment rate was 3.7% in November 2018.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 44 thousand to 5.811 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 40 thousand to 1.224 million and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.2% in November.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in November.
  • In November, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $28.29. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.1%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $47.2 billion in October from $51.1 billion in September (revised), as exports decreased to $207.1 billion and imports decreased to $254.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit was $520.1 billion, an increase of $6.9 billion, from the same period in 2018.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 0.6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 1.4% September decrease.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.1%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October, up following three consecutive monthly decreases, increased less than $0.1 billion.  This followed a 0.7% September decrease.
  • The international trade deficit was $66.5 billion in October, down $4.0 billion from $70.5 billion in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for October were $135.3 billion, $0.9 billion less than September exports. Imports of goods for October were $201.8 billion, $5.0 billion less than September imports.
  • Retail inventories for October were up 0.3% from September and were up 3.1% from October 2018.
  • Wholesale inventories for October were up 0.2% from September and were up 3.9% from October 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 213 thousand in the week ending November 23. The 4-week moving average was 219.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 16 was 1,640 thousand, a decrease of 57 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since August 4, 1973 when it was 1,633 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,680.5 thousand, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Housing starts in October were up 3.8% and from the previous month and were up 8.5% from October 2018. Building permits in October were up 5.0% from September and were up 14.1% from a year ago.
  • Existing home sales increased 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in October, from 5.36 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in October was $270.9 thousand, up 6.2% from October 2018. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 2.7% from the previous month, and decreased 4.3% from a year ago, to 1.77 million. Unsold inventory was at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.1 months in September, and down from 4.3 months in October 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66% for the week ending November 21st, down from last week when it averaged 3.75%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.15% for the week ending November 21st, down from last week when it averaged 3.20%.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.2% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 15, 2019.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in October in 4 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Eight states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 3 states had increases, and 39 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 4 states in October, decreased in 1, 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.
  • From June 2018 to June 2019, employment increased in 279 of the 355 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2019, national employment (as measured by the Quarterly County Employment and Wages program) increased to 149.1 million, a 1.1% increase over the year. Adams, Colorado, had the largest over-the-year increase in employment with a gain of 5.3%. Among the 355 largest counties, 347 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In the second quarter of 2019, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,095, a 3.8% increase over the year. Benton, Arizona, had the largest second quarter over-the-year wage gain at 16.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 227 thousand in the week ending November 16, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 221 thousand, an increase of 3.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 9 was 1,695 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 1,693 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board’s leading economic index decreased 0.1% in October, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. The coincident index held steady, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 0.1% (about a -0.2% annual rate) with six out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55%), while the coincident index increased 0.8% (about a 1.5% annual rate) with three of four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75%). This was the first time since May 2016 that the leading economic index’s six-month growth has slipped into negative territory.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 96.8 in November, from 95.5 in October. The Index was 97.5 in November of 2018. The Current Conditions Index decreased from 113.2 in October to 111.6 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations increased from 84.2 to 87.3.
  • 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.