Key Economic Indicators – December 29, 2014

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.0% in the third quarter of 2014, after increasing 4.6% in the previous quarter, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second estimate, released about a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 3.9%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $64.5 billion in the third quarter, after an increase of $164.1 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.4% in November, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.6%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.2% in November, while the core index held steady. The price index (headline index) was up 1.2% from November 2013, while the core index was up 1.4%.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.7% in November, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Shipments decreased 0.4%, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were up 6.7%, while shipments were up 4.9%.
  • November existing home sales decreased 6.1% from the previous month to an annualized rate of 4,930 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. This represents a 2.1% increase from a year ago. There were 2,090 thousand existing homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate, the same rate as in November of 2013. The median sales price of existing houses sold was 5.0% above November 2013.
  • November new home sales decreased 1.6% to an annualized rate of 438 thousand units. The November figure was 1.6% below the November 2013 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $280.9 thousand, up 1.2% from a year ago.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in October, U.S. prices rose 4.5%. The index is now 5.1% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the September 2005 index level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 24th showed average fixed mortgage rates edging slightly higher while remaining near their 2014 lows. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average 3.83% for the week ending December 24, up from last week when it averaged 3.80%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 9 thousand to 280 thousand in the week ending December 20. The 4-week moving average was 290.25 thousand, a decrease of 8.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped to 93.6 in December, its highest level since January 2007.

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