Key Economic Indicators – September 8, 2014

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 142 thousand in August, following an increase of 212 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 134 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 8 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 6.1% in August, from 6.2% in July.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents to $24.53.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 4 thousand to 302 thousand in the week ending August 30.
  • Second quarter productivity increased 2.3% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 4.5% decrease in the previous period.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 10.5% in July, while shipments increased 1.2%.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 7.8% in August, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 6.4%. Total vehicle sales were 17.4 million units in August, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 15.9 million a year ago.
  • In July, international trade deficit was $40.5 billion, $0.3 billion less than the revised June figure.
  • In July, construction spending was up 1.8% from the previous month, and was up 8.2% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of August 28th showed average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 29th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 63rd consecutive month.
  • In August, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 55th consecutive month.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity has expanded since the previous report.

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