Key Economic Indicators – June 1, 2015

  • Real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015, after increasing at 2.2% in the previous quarter, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the “advance” estimate, released a month ago, real GDP increased 0.2%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases decreased 1.6% in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $125.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $30.4 billion in the previous quarter.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.5% in April, while shipments decreased 0.1%. Year-to-date new orders were down 1.3% from the same period in 2014, while shipments were up 3.5%. Excluding transportation, new orders for manufactured durable goods were up 0.5% in April, while shipments were up 0.1%.
  • April new home sales were up 6.8% from the previous month, and were up 26.1% from a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold was $297.3 thousand, 8.3% above March 2014.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from February to March, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in March, U.S. prices rose 5.2%.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller home price indices for March show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The S & P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015, compared with a 4.2% increase in February. As of March 2015, home prices were approximately 15-16% below their June/July 2006 peaks, and were back to their autumn 2004 levels.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 3.4% to a reading of 112.4 in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 14% above April 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher and pushing rates to their highest level of the year. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87% for the week ending May 28th, up from last week when it averaged 3.84%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.12%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 22nd.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 7 thousand to 282 thousand in the week ending May 23. The 4-week moving average was 271.5 thousand, an increase of 5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in April, increased to 95.4 in May. The present situation index increased to 105.1, while the expectations index edged down to 86.9.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for May decreased to 90.7, from 95.9 in April. The current economic conditions and the index of consumer expectations both decreased in May.

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