Key Economic Indicators – December 30, 2013

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 3.5% in November, while shipments increased 1.8%.
  • November new home sales decreased 2.1% to an annualized rate of 464 thousand units. The November figure was 16.6% above the November 2012 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was up 10.6% from a year ago.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in October, U.S. prices rose 8.2%. The index is now 8.8% 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 December 26th showed average fixed mortgage rates little changed from the previous week.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 6.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 20th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 42 thousand to 338 thousand in the week ending December 21.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped to 82.5 for December, the highest reading since July.

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