Key Economic Indicators- May 6, 2013

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 165 thousand to 135.474 million in April, following an increase of 138 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 176 thousand in the month, while government employment decreased by 11 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 7.5% in April, from 7.6% in March.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 18 thousand to 324 thousand in the week ending April 27.
  • First quarter productivity increased 0.7% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 1.7% decrease in the previous period.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.3%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending March 2013, following a 0.4% increase for the 3–month period ending December 2012.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 4.6% in April, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 2.2%. Total vehicle sales were 14.867 million units in April, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 14.081 million in April of 2012.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 4.0% in March, while shipments decreased 1.0%.
  • In March international trade deficit was $38.8 billion, $4.8 billion less than the revised February figure.
  • March construction spending decreased 1.7%, following a 1.5% increase in the previous month, according to U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 8.6% and 9.3% in February, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the fifth consecutive week.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 26th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 47th consecutive month.
  • In April, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 40th consecutive month.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in March, increased in April.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%

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