Key Economic Indicators – October 28, 2013

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 148 thousand in September, following an increase of 193 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 126 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 22 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 7.2% in September, from 7.3% in August.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours.
  • Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $24.09 (up 2.1% from the previous year).
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 12 thousand to 356 thousand in the week ending October 19th.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 3.7% in September, while shipments increased 0.2% in September.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in August were up 0.6% from July, while inventories were up 0.5%.
  • In August, international trade deficit was $38.8 billion, $0.2 billion more than the revised July figure.
  • The import price index increased 0.2% in September, while export prices increased 0.3%. The import price index decreased 1.0% from September 2012, while export prices decreased 1.6%.
  • Construction spending increased 0.6% in August. Private construction increased 0.7%, while public construction increased 0.4%.
  • September existing home sales were down 1.9% from the previous month, but were up 10.7% from September 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $199.2 thousand, 11.7% above September 2012.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from July to August, following a 0.8% increase in the previous period, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in August, U.S. prices rose 8.5%. The index is 9.4% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the April 2005 index level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of October 24th showed average fixed mortgage rates hitting their lowest levels since this summer.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 18th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to its lowest level since the end of last year.

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