Key Economic Indicators – September 9, 2013

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 169 thousand in August, following an increase of 104 thousand in the previous month.  The unemployment rate decreased to 7.3% in August.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased 0.1 to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 9 thousand to 323 thousand in the week ending August 31st.
  • Second quarter productivity increased 2.3% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 1.7% decrease in the previous period.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 0.3% in August,  while total light vehicle sales increased 1.8%. Total vehicle sales were 16.0 million units in August, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 14.4 million in August of 2012.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 2.4% in July, while shipments increased 1.1%.
  • In July, international trade deficit increased $4.6 billion to $39.1 billion.
  • Construction spending increased 0.6% in July, following a less than 0.1% decrease in the previous month.  Private construction increased 0.9%,  while public construction decreased 0.3%. July construction put in place was 5.2% above such construction in July 2012.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of September 5th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving back up near their highs for the year.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 30th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for  the 51st consecutive month.
  • In August, the Institute for Supply Management’s  (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 44th consecutive month.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace during the reporting period of early July through late August.

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