Key Economic Indicators – April 21, 2014

  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales increased 1.1% in March, following a 0.7% increase in the previous month. Excluding autos, retail and food services sales were up 0.7% in March.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for February were up 0.8%, while inventories were up 0.4%.
  • Total Industrial production increased 0.7% in March. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 79.2%.
  • Housing starts in March were up 2.8% from the previous month, but were down 5.9% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of April 17th showed average fixed mortgage rates easing further for the second consecutive week.
  • Mortgage applications increased 4.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 11th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 2 thousand to 304 thousand in the week ending April 12.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) rose 0.2% in March, following a 0.1% in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in March, while the core index rose 1.6%.
  • The March 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity was virtually flat.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for March reported growth in manufacturing activity.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest or moderate pace.

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