Key Economic Indicators – October 6, 2014

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 248 thousand in September, following an increase of 180 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased by 236 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 12 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329 to 9.262 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.9% in September, from 6.1% in August. The unemployment rate was 7.2% in September of 2013.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased 0.1 to 34.6 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by a cent to $24.53, while average weekly earnings increased by $2.11 to $848.74. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.0%, and average weekly earnings were up 2.2%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 8 thousand to 287 thousand in the week ending September 27.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in August, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.5% from August 2013.
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 10.1% in September, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 6.3%. Total vehicle sales were 16.3 million units in September, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.4 million in the previous month, and 15.3 million in September of 2013.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.8% in November, while shipments increased 1.0%.
  • In August, international trade deficit was $40.1 billion, $0.2 billion less than the July figure. The cumulative trade deficit for the first eight months of 2014 was $335.2 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $321.7 billion during the first eight months of 2013.
  • Construction spending decreased 0.8% in August, following a 1.2% increase in the previous month.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 1.0% to 104.7 in August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Indices posted annual increases of 6.7% in the 12 months ending in July, for both 10-city and 20-city composites. As of July 2014, average home prices were back to their autumn 2004 levels, and approximately 16-17% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of October 2nd showed average fixed mortgage rates flat to slightly down. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19%, down from last week when it averaged 4.20%
  • 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 September 26th.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in August, decreased in September.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 16th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 64th consecutive month.

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