Key Economic Indicators – August 3, 2015

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.3% in the second quarter, after increasing at 0.6% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in the second quarter, compared to a decrease of 1.6% in the previous quarter. 
  • Real final sales of domestic product – GDP less change in private inventories – increased 2.4% in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2% in the first quarter.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 12 thousand to 267 thousand in the week ending July 25th. The 4-week moving average was 274.75 thousand, a decrease of 3.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.2% for the 3-month period ending June, following a 0.7% increase for the 3-month period ending March. Compensation costs rose 2.0% for the 12-month period ending June, compared with a 2.6% increase for the 12-month period ending March.
  •  New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 3.4% in June, while shipments increased 0.1%. Year-to-date new orders decreased 2.0% from the same period a year ago, while shipments increased 2.8%.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 1.8% in June, after five consecutive months of increases.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 4.7% and 4.9% in the 12 months ending in May, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. As of May 2015, both composite indexes were back to their winter 2005 levels, and were about 12-15% below their June/July 2006 peaks.  
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of July 30th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving down. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98% for the week ending July 30, down from last week when it averaged 4.04%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.12%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending July 24th.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had improved in June, declined in July.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment slipped in July.
  • 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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