Key Economic Indicators – September 24, 2012

  • Housing starts increased 2.3% in August, following a 2.8% decrease in the previous month.
  • August existing home sales increased 7.8% to an annualized rate of 4,820 thousand units. The August figure was 9.3% above the August 2011 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $187.4 thousand, 9.5% above August 2011.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo rose 3 points to 40 in September, its highest level since June 2006.
  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to 3.49%, matching its all-time record low, for the week ending September 20.
  • The current account deficit decreased to $117.4 billion in the second quarter, from $133.6 billion in the first quarter.
  • Treasury International Capital reported net foreign purchases of long-term securities of $60.2 billion in July, compared with net purchases of $5.5 billion in the previous month.
  • Domestic non-financial debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0% in the second quarter of 2012, following an increase of 4.4% in the previous quarter.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 3 thousand to 382 thousand in the week ending September 15.
  • The September Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that manufacturing activity in New York State continued to weaken over the month.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for September indicated nearly flat business conditions.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased in August, the third time this year.

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