Key Economic Indicators – October 27, 2014

  • September existing home sales were up 2.4% from the previous month, but were down 1.7% from September 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $209.7 thousand, 5.6% above September 2013.
  • September new home sales were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 17.0% from September 2013 figure, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median sales price of new houses sold was $259.0 thousand, 4.0% below September 2013.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from July to August, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in August, house prices rose 4.8%. The index is 5.8% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the August 2005 index level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of October 23rd showed average fixed mortgage rates declining for the second consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.92% for the week ending October 23rd, down from last week when it averaged 3.97%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 5.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 10th.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.1% in September, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The core index, which held steady in August, increased 0.1% in September. The consumer price index (headline) and the core index both increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in September.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 17 thousand to 283 thousand in the week ending October 18th, , according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The 4-week moving average was 281 thousand, a decrease of 3 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This was the lowest level for this average since May 6, 2000 when it was 279.25 thousand.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.2% from August to September, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This result stems from unchanged average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers. Real average hourly earnings rose 0.3% from September 2013 to September 2014.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thirty-one states had unemployment rate decreases from August, 8 states had increases, and 11 states and the District of Columbia had no change.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.8% in September, while the coincident index increased 0.4%.

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