Key Economic Indicators – November 24, 2014

  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.1% in October, after increasing 0.8% in the previous month. Total industrial production in October was 4.0% above its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased 0.3 percentage point to 78.9%, 1.2 percentage points below its 1972-2013 average.
  • Housing starts in October were down 2.8% from the previous month, but were up 7.8% from October 2013. Building permits in October were up 4.8% from September, and were up 1.2% from a year ago.
  • October existing home sales increased 1.5% to an annualized rate of 5,260 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The October figure was 2.5% above the October 2013 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $208.3 thousand, 5.5% above October 2013.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo rose 4 points to 58 in November. The index was 54 in November 2013 and 56 in January 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of November 20th showed average fixed mortgage rates slightly down from the previous week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99%, down from last week when it averaged 4.01%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 4.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 14th.
  • The producer price index for final demand increased 0.2% in October, while the core index decreased 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.5% from October 2013 to October 2014.
  • The consumer price index was unchanged in October, while the core index increased 0.2%. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in October, while the core index rose 1.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 291 thousand in the week ending November 15. The 4-week moving average was 287.5 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.1% from September to October.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases, 5 states had increases, and 11 states had no change. In October 2014, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 38 states and decreased in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The Conference Board’s leading economic index increased 0.9% in October, while the coincident index increased 0.1%.
  • The November 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity continued to expand for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that regional manufacturing activity increased notably in November.

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