Key Economic Indicators – December 10, 2012

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 146 thousand to 133.852 million in November, following an increase of 138 thousand in the previous month.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 7.7%, from 7.9% in the previous month.
  • The average workweek of production and non-supervisory employees increased 0.1 to 33.7 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $19.84.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 25 thousand to 370 thousand in the week ending December 1.
  • Third quarter productivity increased 2.9% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 1.9% increase as in the previous quarter.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 8.1% in November, while total light vehicle sales increased 8.7%. Total sales were 15.477 million units in November, compared to 13.510 million in November of 2011.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 0.8% in October, while shipments increased 0.4%.
  • October construction spending increased 1.4%. Private construction increased 1.6%, while public construction increased 0.8%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates little changed and remaining near record lows. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.34% for the week ending December 6, up from last week when it averaged 3.32%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 4.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 30, 2012.
  • The housing Affordability Index rose 2.8 points to 198.5 in October, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Domestic non-financial debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4% in the third quarter of 2012, following an increase of 5.1% in the previous quarter.  Growth of federal government debt held by the public was 6.2%.
  • October consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 6.2%.
  • Delinquency rates were generally lower in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in November, following two months of modest expansion.
  • In November, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 35th consecutive month.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, plunged to 74.5 in early December, the lowest level since August.

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