Key Economic Indicators – May 5, 2014

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 288 thousand in April, following an increase of 203 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 273 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 15 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 6.3% in April, from 6.7% in March.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings held steady, following a 0.4% increase in February.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 14 thousand to 344 thousand in the week ending April 26th.
  • Employment cost index rose 0.3% in the first quarter, after a 0.5% increase in the final quarter of 2013.
  • Real GDP rose 0.1% in the first quarter, following a 2.6% increase in the previous quarter. The price index for domestic purchases increased 1.3%, following a 1.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Personal income rose 0.5% in March, while personal consumption expenditures rose 0.9%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 1.1% from March 2013.
  • Sales of domestic vehicles decreased to 12.8 million in April, while total vehicle sales decreased to 16.0 million.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.1% in March, following an increase of 1.5% in the previous month.
  • Construction spending rose 0.2% in March, following a 0.2% decrease in February.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of May 91st showed average fixed mortgage rates moving down slightly.

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