Key Economic Indicators – July 20, 2015

  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for June were down 0.3% from the previous month, but were up 1.4% from June 2014. Excluding autos, retail sales were down 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 0.1% from a year ago. Year-to-date retail and food services were up 2.0% from the first half of 2014.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for May were up 0.4% from April, but were down 2.2% from May 2014. Inventories were up 0.3% from April, and were up 2.4% from May 2014.
  • Total Industrial production rose 0.3% in June, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 78.4%, up 2.6% from June 2014.
  • Housing starts for June were up 9.8% from the previous month, and were up 26.6% from a year ago. Building permits in June were up 7.4% from May, and were up 30.0% from June 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo was unchanged at 60 in July. The index was 57 in January, and 53 in July of 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of July 16th showed average fixed mortgage rates reversing course and moving to their highest level this year. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.09% for the week ending July 16, up from last week when it averaged 4.04%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending July 10th.
  • The federal government budget ran a surplus of $51.8 billion in June, following a deficit of $82.4 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first nine months of fiscal year was $313.4 billion.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.4% in June, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.4%, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.7% from June 2014 to June 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 0.1% in June, while export prices decreased 0.2%. The import price index decreased 10.0% from June 2014, while export prices decreased 5.7%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in June, while the core index increased 0.2%. The consumer price index increased 0.1% for the 12-month period ending in June, while the core index rose 1.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 281 thousand in the week ending July 11th. The 4-week moving average was 282.5 thousand, an increase of 3.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of May, the highest since the series began in December 2000.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.4% from May to June. This stems from no change in average hourly earnings being combined with a 0.3% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The July 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business conditions improved slightly for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey reported that manufacturing activity increased modestly in July.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded in all twelve Federal Reserve Districts from mid-May through June.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, decreased slightly in early July.

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