Key Economic Indicators – April 27, 2015

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 4.0% in March, while shipments increased 1.1%. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2%, while shipments decreased 0.3%. Year-to-date new orders were up 0.1% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 3.6%.
  • March existing home sales increased 6.1% to an annualized rate of 5,190 thousand units. The March figure was 10.4% above the March 2014 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $212.1 thousand, 7.8% above March 2014. There were 2,000 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate, compared to 5.0 in March of 2014.
  • March new home sales were down 11.4% from the previous month, but were up 19.4% from March 2014. The median sales price of new houses sold was $277.4 thousand, 1.7% below March 2014.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to February, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices rose 5.4%. The index is now 2.9% below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the January 2006 level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving down slightly. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.65% for the week ending April 23, down from last week when it averaged 3.67%. A year ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.33%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 17th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased a thousand to 295 thousand in the week ending April 18. The 4-week moving average was 284.5 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.

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