Key Economic Indicators – March 4, 2013

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, after increasing at 3.1% in the previous quarter. In the “advance” estimate, released a month ago, real GDP declined 0.1%. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5% in the final quarter, compared to an increase of 1.4% in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income decreased 3.6%, in January, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures held steady in January for the second consecutive month.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 5.2% in January while shipments decreased 1.2%.
  • January construction spending decreased 2.1%, following a 1.1% increase in the previous month. Private construction decreased 2.6%, while public construction decreased 1.0%.
  • January new home sales increased 15.6% to an annualized rate of 437 thousand units. The median sales price of new houses sold was $226.4 thousand, 2.1% above January 2012.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from November to December, after a 0.4% increase in the previous period, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in December, U.S. prices rose 5.8%.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 6.0% and 6.9% in December, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 4.5% to a reading of 105.9 in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower after being largely unchanged over the past month.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.8% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 22nd.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 22 thousand to 344 thousand in the week ending February 23.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 45th consecutive month.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in January, rebounded in February.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 77.6 in February, from 73.8 in January.

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