Key Economic Indicators – January 13, 2014

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 74 thousand in December, following an increase of 241 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 87 thousand in the month, while government employment decreased by 13 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased to 10.351 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.7% in December, from 7.0% in November. The unemployment rate was 7.9% in December of 2012.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased 0.1 to 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 2 cents to $24.17, while average weekly earnings decreased by $1.73 to $831.45.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 1.8%, and average weekly earnings were up 1.5%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 330 thousand in the week ending January 4.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 7.7% in December, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 6.2%. Total vehicle sales were 15.298 million units in December, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 16.306 million in the previous month, and 15.183 million in December of 2012.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.8% in November, while shipments increased 1.0%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in November were up 1.0% from the previous month, while inventories were up 0.5%.
  • In November, international trade deficit was $34.3 billion, $5.0 billion less than the revised October figure. The cumulative trade deficit for the first eleven months of 2013 was $435.1 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $496.3 billion during the first eleven months of 2012.
  • November consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 4.8%. Revolving credits increased at an annual rate of 0.6%, while non-revolving credits increased 6.4%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 9th showed average fixed mortgage rates little changed from the previous week.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 3rd.
  • In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity (exceeded 50.0%) for the 48th consecutive month.

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