Key Economic Indicators – June 22, 2015

  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.1% in May, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. The index of industrial production in May was 1.4% above its year-ago level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 78.1%, two percentage points below its 1972-2014 average, and one percentage point below its level in May 2014.
  • Housing starts in May were down 11.1% from the previous month, but were up 5.1% from a year ago. Building permits were up 11.8% from the previous month, and were up 25.4% from May 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased 5 points to 59 in June.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of June 18th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.00% for the week ending June 18th, down from last week when it averaged 4.04%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.17%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 12th.
  • The current account deficit increased to $113.3 billion in the first quarter, from $103.1 billion in the previous quarter. The deficit increased to 2.6% of GDP in the first quarter of 2015, from 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.4% in May, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index was unchanged for the 12-month period ending in May, while the core index rose 1.7%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 12 thousand to 267 thousand in the week ending June 13th. The 4-week moving average was 276.75 thousand, a decrease of 2 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1% from April to May. This result stems from a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings being more than offset by a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The June 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business conditions worsened slightly for New York manufacturers.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey reported that manufacturing conditions in the region improved in June.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.7% in May, while the coincident index increased 0.1%.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%. “The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.”


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