Key Economic Indicators – September 23, 2013

  • Total Industrial production increased 0.4% in August,  after holding steady in the previous month.
  • The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 77.8%, 2.4 percentage points below its 1972-2012 average, but 0.6 percentage point above its level in August 2012
  • The current account deficit decreased to $98.9 billion in the second quarter, from $104.9 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Housing starts increased 0.9% in August, while building permits decreased 3.8%.
  • August existing home sales were up 1.7% from the previous month, and were up 13.2% from a year ago. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $212.1 thousand, 14.7% above August 2012.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo held steady at 58 in September.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of September 19th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower.
  • Mortgage applications increased 11.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 13th.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.1% in August. The consumer price index increased 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in August.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 15 thousand to 309 thousand in the week ending September 14th.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.1% in August.
  • The September 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that the conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly for the fourth consecutive month.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for September reported increased manufacturing activity.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.7% in August, while the coincident index increased 0.2%.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%, and to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month.

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