Key Economic Indicators – February 3, 2014

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, after increasing 4.1% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 1.8% in the previous quarter. 
  •  Personal income increased less than 0.1%, in December, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2% in December, while the core index, , increased 0.1%. The price index (headline index) was up 1.1% from December 2012, while the core index was up 1.2%
  •  New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 4.3% in December, while shipments decreased 1.9% in December.
  • December new home sales decreased 7.0% to an annualized rate of 414 thousand units. The median sales price of new houses sold was $270.2 thousand, 4.6% above December 2012.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 8.7% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Indices posted annual increases of 13.8% and 13.7% in the 12 months ending in November, for 10-city and 20-city composites, respectively.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 30th showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing for the third consecutive week.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 24th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 19 thousand to 348 thousand in the week ending January 25.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.5%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending December 2013.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in December.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had rebounded in December, increased again in January.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment slipped in January.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25% and to make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously selected Janet L. Yellen to serve as its Chair, effective February 1, 2014. 

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