• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were down 0.7% from November but were up 2.9% from December 2019.  Total sales for the year 2020 were up 0.6% from the year 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were down 0.1% from October but were up 1.5% from November 2019. Inventories were up 0.5% from the previous month but were down 3.2% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of November was 1.32, compared with 1.39 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.6% in December, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The index was 3.6% below the level in December 2019 and was 3.3% below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The manufacturing index was up 0.9% in December, while the index for utilities was up 6.2%. The index for mining was up 1.6% in December. Total Industrial production for the year 2020 was down 7.0% from the previous year.
  • The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 74.5% in December, compared with 73.4 in November of 2020, and 77.2 in December of 2019. The average for the index was 79.8 during 1972-2019 period.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $143.6 billion in December, after a deficit of $145.3 billion in the previous month. The cumulative deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year 2021 was $572.9 billion, compared with the deficit of $356.6 billion for the first three months of the previous fiscal year. The cumulative deficit was $3,131.9 billion in the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index in December was up 0.9% from November but was down 0.3% from December of 2019. The export price index was up 1.1% from November and was up 0.2% from December of 2019.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.3% in December, following a 0.1% 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% in December, after a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The headline index increased 0.8% from December 2019 to December 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.1%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) rose 0.4% in December, following a 0.2% 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 1.4% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 1.6%. This increase of 1.4% in all items CPI in 2020 was smaller than the 2019 increase of 2.3% and the smallest December-to-December increase since the 0.7% rise in 2015. The index rose at a 1.7% average annual rate over the last 10 years. The food index increased 3.9% in 2020, a larger increase than the 2019 rise of 1.8%. The index for food at home also increased 3.9% in 2020, a larger increase than the 0.7% increase reported for 2019. Over the last 10 years, the food index rose at a 2.0% average annual rate, and the food at home index increased at a 1.5% average annual rate.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.4% from November to December. This result stems from a 0.8% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little changed 6.5 million on the last business day of November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires were little changed at 6.0 million, while total separations increased to 5.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2%, while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.4%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 181 thousand to 965 thousand in the week ending January 9. The 4-week moving average was 834.25 thousand, an increase of 18.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 2 was 5,271 thousand, an increase of 199 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,271 thousand, a decrease of 59 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.7% for the week ending January 2, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates tick up. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.79% for the week ending January 14, up from last week when it averaged 2.65%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.65%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.23%, up from last week when it averaged 2.16%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.09%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 16.7% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 8, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the holidays.
  • There were 93,363,092 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,999,849 deaths, and 51,514,474 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/15/2021, 12:30 EST). In the United States, there are 23,337,896 confirmed cases, 389,191 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Data issues may be the least of the problems. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment decreased 140 thousand in December, following an increase of 336 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls decreased by 95 thousand in December, while government employment decreased by 45 thousand. The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and efforts to contain the pandemic. Employment declines in leisure and hospitality, private education, and government were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, construction, and transportation and warehousing. In December, nonfarm employment was below its February level by 9.8 million, or 6.5%.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7% in December, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 8 thousand to 10.736 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.6%, and the number of unemployed persons was 5.844 million
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 27 thousand to 3.956 million and accounted for 37.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed increased by 2.779 million.
  • The labor force participation rate remained at 61.5% in December. The rate was 63.3 in December 2019.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 to 34.7 hours in December.
  • In December, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 23 cents to $29.81. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 5.1%.
  • Unemployment rates were higher in November than a year earlier in 386 of the 389 metropolitan areas, and lower higher in 3 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 242 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 147 areas.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 3 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending January 2. The 4-week moving average was 818.75 thousand, a decrease of 18.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 26 was 5,072 thousand, a decrease of 126 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,274.75 thousand, a decrease of 177.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5% for the week ending December 26, unchanged from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hit a new record low the first week of 2021. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.65% for the week ending January 7, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.67%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.64%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.16%, down from last week when it averaged 2.17%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.07%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.2% from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 1, 2021. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays.
  • There were 88,885,636 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,913,746 deaths, and 49,427,771 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/9/2021, 3:30 EST). In the United States, there are 21,862,983 confirmed cases, 368,777 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 four weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US.  However, Data issues may be the least of the problems. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 19 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending December 26. The 4-week moving average was 836.75 thousand, an increase of 17.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 19 was 5,219 thousand, a decrease of 103 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,457.25 thousand, a decrease of 77 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending December 19, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates remain near record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.67% for the week ending December 31, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.66%, which was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.72%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.17%, down from last week when it averaged 2.19%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.16%.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for December increased to 80.7, from 76.9 in November. The Index was 99.3 in December 2019. The Current Conditions Index increased to 90.0, from 87.0, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 74.6, from 70.5.
  • There were 84,602,857 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,836,136 deaths, and 47,604,898 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/3/2021, 3:00 EST). In the United States, there are 20,429,852 confirmed cases, 350,195 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. However, there are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 three weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Regardless of data issues, the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 33.4% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4%.  In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 33.1%. It was stated: “The increase in third quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19. The full economic effects of the COVID19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 25.9% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 28.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 25.8% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 32.6% 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 29.6% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 32.0% in the second quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 3.3% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.4% in the previous quarter. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 3.7%, compared with a decrease of 1.6%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 3.4%, compared with a decrease of 0.8%.
  • Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $499.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of $208.9 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $12.1 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $26.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $436.2 billion, compared with a decrease of $89.5 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $51.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $89.5 billion.
  • Personal income decreased 1.1% in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased 1.2% and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased 0.4%. Real DPI (disposable income in chained 2012 dollars) decreased 1.3%, and real PCE decreased 0.4%. The PCE price index held steady in November for the second consecutive month. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index also held steady in November for the second consecutive month. The PCE price index increased 1.1% from a year ago, while the core (PCE excluding food and energy) price index increased 1.4%. It was noted: “The November estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed as pandemic-related assistance programs continued to wind down. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the third quarter of 2020, as real GDP for the nation increased at an annual rate of 33.4%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the third quarter ranged from 52.2% in Nevada to 19.2% in the District of Columbia. Healthcare and social assistance, durable goods manufacturing, and accommodation and food services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally. Accommodation and food services was the leading contributor to the increase in Nevada.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in November increased 0.9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, following a 1.8% October increase.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November increased 0.3%, following an increase of 1.5% in the previous month. Year-to-date, new orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 8.0% and shipments decreased 5.9% from the same period in 2019.
  • Sales of new single family houses in November 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 841thousand, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 11.0% below the previous month, but  20.8% above a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2019 was $335.8 thousand 2.2% above a year ago. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 286 thousand.  This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate, compared with 5.6 months in November 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hit another record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.66% for the week ending December 24, down from last week when it averaged 2.67%. This was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.74%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.19%, down from last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.8% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 18, 2020.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 89 thousand to 803 thousand in the week ending December 19. The 4-week moving average was 818.25 thousand, an increase of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 12 was 5,337 thousand, a decrease of 170 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,538 thousand, a decrease of 188 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending December 12, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • There were 79,966,148 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,752,674 deaths, and 45,114,894 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/26/2020, 11:00 EST). In the United States, there are 18,768,116 confirmed cases, 330,340 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. However, there are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 two weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Regardless of data issues, the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were down 1.1% from the previous month but were up 4.1% from November 2019. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, sales were down 0.9% from the previous month, but were up 3.6% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales and food services were up 0.3% from the same period of 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were up 0.9% from the previous month and were up 2.2% from October 2019. Total business inventories were up 0.7% from the previous month but were down 4.0% from a year ago. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.31, compared to 1.40 in October of 2019.
  • Total Industrial production increased 0.4% in November, following an increase of 0.9% in the previous month. Total Industrial production was down 5.5% from November 2019. The capacity utilization rate was 77.3 in November, 6.5 percentage points below the average for the 1972-2019 period, and 3.3 percentage points below the November 2019 level.
  • The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $178.5 billion (preliminary) in the third quarter of 2020 from $161.4 billion (revised) in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit edged up to 3.4% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), from 3.3% in the second quarter. The $17.2 billion increase in the current-account deficit reflected an expanded deficit on goods that was partly offset by an expanded surplus on primary income.
  • State personal income decreased 10.0%, annualized rate, in the third quarter of 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, state personal income increased 35.8%. Personal income decreased in all states and the District of Columbia. The percent change in personal income across all states ranged from negative 29.9% in West Virginia to negative 0.6% in Georgia.
  • Real state personal income grew 2.4% in 2019 after increasing 3.1% in 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Real state personal income is a state’s current-dollar personal income adjusted by the state’s regional price parity and the national personal consumption expenditures price index. The percent change in real state personal income ranged from 4.1% in Maine to 0.7% in Hawaii, Wyoming, and Rhode Island. Across metropolitan areas, the percent change ranged from 7.6% in Hanford-Corcoran, CA, to negative 3.2% in Panama City, FL, and Wheeling, WV-OH.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 23 thousand to 885 thousand in the week ending December 12. The 4-week moving average was 812.5 thousand, an increase of 34.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 5 was 5,508 thousand, a decrease of 273 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,726.25 thousand, a decrease of 215.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.8% for the week ending December 5, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in November in 25 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 7 states, and stable in 18 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia had jobless rate increases from a year earlier and two states had little change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 17 states in November 2020, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment deceased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $38.26 per hour worked in September 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries cost employers $26.25 while benefits cost $12.01. Private industry worker compensation costs for employers averaged $35.95 per hour worked in September 2020. Wages and salaries averaged $25.23 and accounted for 70.2% of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $10.72 and accounted for 29.8%. State and local government compensation costs averaged $52.94 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $32.74 per hour worked and represented 61.8% of total compensation costs, while benefit costs averaged $20.20 and accounted for the remaining 38.2%.
  • Import prices increased 0.1% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.0% from November 2019. The price index for exports increased 0.6% in November, after increasing 0.2% in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.1% over the past year.
  • Housing starts in November increased 1.2% from the previous month and increased 12.8% from November 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date housing starts were up 7.0% from the same period in 2019.  Building permits in November increased 6.2% from the previous month and increased 8.5% from a year ago. Year-to-date housing starts were up 4.1% from the same period in 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hit another record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.67% for the week ending December 17, down from last week when it averaged 2.71%. This was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.73%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.21%, down from last week when it averaged 2.26%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.1% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 11, 2020.
  • There were 75,802,551 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,677,706 deaths, and 42,797,202 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/19/2020, 9:00 EST). In the United States, there are 17,466,837 confirmed cases, 313,672 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 a week ago in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.

 

  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 137 thousand to 853 thousand in the week ending December 5. The 4-week moving average was 776 thousand, an increase of 35.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 28 was 5,757 thousand, an increase of 230 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,935.75 thousand, a decrease of 260.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.9% for the week ending November 28, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from October to November. This result stems from a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.2% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 4.6% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , as output increased 43.4% and hours worked increased 37.1%. The 4.6% gain in productivity in the third quarter follows an increase of 10.6% during the second quarter. Over the last four quarters, nonfarm business productivity increased 4.0%, reflecting a 3.4% decline in output and a 7.1% decline in hours worked. The number of job openings was little changed at 6.7 million on the last business day of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires were little changed at 5.8 million while total separations increased to 5.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2% while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.2%.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.1% in November, following an increase of 0.3% in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also increased 0.1%, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.8% from November 2019 to November 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.9%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.2% in November, after holding steady in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, also increased 0.2%, after holding steady  in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.2% for the 12-month period ending in November. The core index rose 1.6% from a year ago.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 2,484 counties, decreased in 612 counties, and was unchanged in 17 counties in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The percent change in real GDP ranged from 62.5% in Greensville + Emporia, VA, to negative 34.2% in Jackson County, WV.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates remain at record lows and mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.71% for the week ending December 10, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.73%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.26%, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.2% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 4, 2020.
  • There were 71,708,243 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,605,141 deaths, and 46,857,548 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/13/2020, 2:00 EST). In the United States, there are 16,062,476 confirmed cases, 297,832 deaths, and 6,246,605 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 245 thousand in November, following an increase of 610 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 344 thousand in November, while government employment decreased by 99 thousand. In November, notable job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care. Employment declined in government and retail trade.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 6.7% in November, from 6.9% in October. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in November 2019.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 326 thousand to 10.735 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 385 thousand to 3.941 million and accounted for 36.9% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate edged down to 61.5% in November. This is 1.9 percentage points below its February level.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.8 hours in November.
  • In November, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $29.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 4.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 75 thousand to 712 thousand in the week ending November 28. The 4-week moving average was 739.5 thousand, a decrease of 11.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 21 was 5,520 thousand, a decrease of 569 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 6,194.25 thousand, a decrease of 425.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.8% for the week ending November 21, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Unemployment rates were higher in October than a year earlier in 384 of the 389 metropolitan areas and lower in 5 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 124 areas had jobless rates of less than 5.0% and 16 areas had rates of at least 10.0%. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, had the highest unemployment rate in October (22.5%) followed by El Centro, CA (18.8%). Ames, IA, and Burlington-South Burlington, VT, had the lowest unemployment rates, 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively. A total of 275 areas had October jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 6.6 percent, 103 areas had rates above it, and 11 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 234 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 155 areas. The largest over-the-year employment decreases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (1,017,600), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (520,000), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (343,300). The largest over-the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (27.3%), Lake Charles, LA (17.8%), and Flagstaff, AZ (16.6%).
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $63.1 billion in October from $62.1 billion in September (revised), as exports increased to $182.0 billion and imports increased to $245.1 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit reached $536.7 billion, compared with $490.1 billion in the first 10 months in 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates reached another record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.71% for the week ending December 3, down from last week when it averaged 2.72%. This was the lowest rate in the survey’s history dating back to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.68%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.26%, down from last week when it averaged 2.28%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.14%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.6% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 27, 2020.
  • There were 65,669,150 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,514,387 deaths, and 42,156,960 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/4/2020, 4:00 EST). In the United States, there are 14,282,494 confirmed cases, 277,958 deaths, and 5,404,018 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the “second” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) . In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4%. The GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month that also showed an increase in real GDP of 33.1%. With the second estimate, upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, residential investment, and exports were offset by downward revisions to state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised up.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 25.5% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 32.6% 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 29.2% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 32.0% in the second quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 25.6% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 28.1% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 3.3% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.4% in the previous quarter.  The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 3.7%, compared with a decrease of 1.6% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 3.5%, compared with a decrease of 0.8%.
  • Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) increased $495.3 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $208.9 billion in the second quarter. Profits from current production were impacted by provisions from the Paycheck Protection Program. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $24.5 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $26.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $431.2 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $145.9 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $39.6 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $89.5 billion. In the third quarter, receipts increased $97.5 billion, and payments increased $57.9 billion.
  • Personal income decreased 0.7% in October, following a 0.7% increase in the previous month, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Disposable personal income decreased 0.8% and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5%. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.8% in October, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5%. The personal consumption expenditures price index (headline index) and the core index both held steady in October. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.2% from October 2019, while the core index increased 1.4%. BEA stated: “The October estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed as pandemic-related assistance programs continued to wind down. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 1.3%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.3%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.2%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October also increased 1.3%. Excluding transportation, shipments increased 2.0%.  Excluding defense, shipments increased 1.1%.  Year-to-date, new orders decreased 9.1% and shipments decreased 6.7% from the same period a year ago.
  • The international trade deficit was $80.3 billion in October, up $0.9 billion from $79.4 billion in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for October were $126.0 billion, $3.4 billion more than September exports. Imports of goods for October were $206.3 billion, $4.4 billion more than September imports.
  • Retail inventories for October were up 0.8% from September but were down 8.5% from October 2019.
  • Wholesale inventories for October were up 0.9% from September but were up 2.7% from October 2019.
  • Sales of new single-family houses in October 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999 thousand, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.3% below the revised September rate of 1,002 thousand but is 41.5% above the October 2019 estimate of 706 thousand. The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2020 was $330.6 thousand and the average sales price was $386.2 thousand. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 278 thousand. This represents a supply of 3.3 months at the current sales rate, compared with 5.5 months in October 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hold steady heading into the Thanksgiving Holiday. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.72% for the week ending November 25, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.68%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.28%, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.15%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.9% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 20, 2020.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 30 thousand to 778 thousand in the week ending November 21. The 4-week moving average was 748.5 thousand, an increase of 5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 14 was 6,071 thousand, a decrease of 299 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 6,615.25 thousand, a decrease of 438 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.1% for the week ending November 14, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 76.9 in November, from 81.8 in October. The Index was 96.8 in November of 2019. The Current Conditions Index increased from 85.9 in October to 87.0 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 79.2 to 70.5.
  • There were 60,641,673 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,426,394 deaths, and 38,882,736 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 11/26/2020, 12:30 EST). In the United States, there are 12,795,581 confirmed cases, 262,446 deaths, and 4,835,956 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for October were up 0.3% from September, and were up 5.7% from October 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from September, and were up 4.4% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were virtually unchanged from the first 10 months of 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for September were up 0.6% from August, while inventories were up 0.7%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.32, compared with 1.40 in September 2019.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.1% in October, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. Total industrial production in October was 5.3% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization was 72.8 in October, 0.8 percentage point above September, but 4.2 percentage below October 2019 and 7.0 percentage points below its 1972-2019 average.
  • In 2019, personal income increased in 2,964 counties, decreased in 139, and was unchanged in 10, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income increased 4.0% in the metropolitan portion of the United States and increased 3.5% in the nonmetropolitan portion. In metropolitan counties, the percent change in personal income ranged from 12.1% in Doniphan County, Kansas to negative 5.8% in Stark County, Illinois. In nonmetropolitan counties, it ranged from 34.7% in Sheridan County, Kansas to negative 14.2 percent in Cavalier County, North Dakota.
  • Housing starts in October were up 4.9% and from the previous month and were up 14.2% from October 2019. Building permits in October were unchanged from September and were up 2.8% from a year ago.
  • Existing home sales increased 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million in October, from 6.57 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in October was $313.0 thousand, up 15.5% from October 2019. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 2.7% from the previous month, and decreased 19.8% from a year ago, to 1.42 million. Unsold inventory was at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.7 months in September, and down from 3.9 months in October 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates dropped, hitting a record low for the thirteenth time this year. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.72% for the week ending November 19, down from last week when it averaged 2.84%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.66%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.28%, down from last week when it averaged 2.34%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.15%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.3% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 13, 2020.
  • Import prices edged down 0.1% in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following an increase of 0.2% the previous month. The October decline was driven by lower fuel prices which more than offset higher nonfuel prices. Exports prices increased 0.2% in October following a 0.6% advance in September. Import prices decreased 1.0% from October 2019 to October 2020, while export prices decreased 1.6%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 31 thousand to 742 thousand in the week ending November 14. The 4-week moving average was 742 thousand, a decrease of 13.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 7 was 6,372 thousand, a decrease of 429 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 7,054.5 thousand, a decrease of 525 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.3% for the week ending November 7, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September in 30 states, higher in 8 states, and stable in 12 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All 50 states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier. The national unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point over the month to 7.9 percent but was 4.4 points higher than in September 2019. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 17 states and the District of Columbia in September 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.
  • From June 2019 to June 2020, employment decreased in all the 357 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2020, national employment (as measured by the Quarterly County Employment and Wages) decreased to 135.1 million, a 9.4% decrease over the year. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 34.2%. Employment in most of the country was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it. Among the 357 largest counties, 352 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In the second quarter of 2020, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,188, an 8.6% increase over the year. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest second quarter over-the-year wage gain at 22.5%. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries.
  • Manufacturing sector multifactor productivity declined 1.6% in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The multifactor productivity decline in 2019 reflected a 1.1% decrease in sectoral output and a 0.5% increase in combined inputs. Durable manufacturing sector multifactor productivity decreased 1.3% in 2019. The decline reflected a 0.6% decrease in sectoral output and a 0.7% increase in combined inputs. Nondurable manufacturing sector multifactor productivity decreased 1.8% in 2019. The decline reflected a 1.5% decrease in sectoral output and a 0.3% increase in combined inputs.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 77.0 in November, from 81.8 in October. The Index was 96.8 in November of 2019. The Current Conditions Index inched down from 85.9 in October to 85.8 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 79.2 to 71.3.
  • There were 57,564,083 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,372,182 deaths, and 36,875,075 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 11/21/2020, 1:30 EST). In the United States, there are 11,910,858 confirmed cases, 254,413 deaths, and 4,457,930 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.3% in October, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.2%. The producer price index for final demand increased 0.5% from October 2019 to October 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.8%.
  • The consumer price index held steady in October, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core also held steady, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.2% for the 12-month period ending in October, while the core index rose 1.6%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from September to October. This result stems from a 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings combined with no change in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 48 thousand to 709 thousand in the week ending November 7. The 4-week moving average was 755.25 thousand, a decrease of 33.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 31 was 6,786 thousand, a decrease of 436 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 7,575.75 thousand, a decrease of 653 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6% for the week ending October 31, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • The number of jobs openings was little changed at 6.4 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 4.7 million, respectively.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates rising. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.84% for the week ending November 12, up from last week when it averaged 2.78%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.75%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.34%, up from last week when it averaged 2.32%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.20%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.5% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 6, 2020.
  • There were 54,184,358 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,314,904 deaths, and 34,830,992 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 11/15/2020, 13:30 EST). In the United States, there are 10,945,381 confirmed cases, 245,812 deaths, and 4,148,444 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.