Key Economic Indicators – January 20,2014

  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 4.1% from December 2012. Retail and food services sales for the year 2013 were up 4.2% from the previous year.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were up 0.8%, while inventories were up 0.4%.
  • Total Industrial production increased 0.3% in December. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 79.2%. Total industrial production rose 2.6% in the year 2013.
  • Housing starts decreased 9.8% in December, while building permits decreased 3.0%. The total number of starts for the year 2013 was up 18.3% from the previous year. 
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased a point to 56 in January.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 16th showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing from the previous week.
  • Mortgage applications increased 11.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 10th.
  • The federal government budget ran a surplus of $53.2 billion in December, after a deficit of $135.2 billion in the previous month.
  •  The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 326 thousand in the week ending January 11.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.3% from November to December.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) rose 0.3% in December, while the core index increased 0.1%. The consumer price index increased 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 1.7%.
  • The producer price index for finished goods (headline index) increased 0.4% in December, while the core index increased 0.3%. The producer price index for finished goods increased 1.2% from December 2012 to December 2013, while the core index increased 1.4%
  • The import price index held steady in December, while the export price index increased 0.4%.The import price index decreased 1.3% from December 2012, while export prices decreased 1.0%.
  •  The January 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity expanded for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for January reported growth in manufacturing activity.
  •  The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from late November through the end of the year.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, decreased to 80.4 in early January.

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