Key Economic Indicators – August 24, 2015

  • Housing starts in July were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 10.1% from July 2014.
  • Building permits in July were down 16.3% from the previous month, but were up 7.5% from a year ago.
  • July existing home sales increased 2.0% to an annualized rate of 5,590 thousand units. The July figure was 10.3% above the July 2014 figure. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $234.0 thousand, 5.6% above July 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased a point to 61 in August. The index was 57 in January of this year and 55 in August of 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of August 20th showed average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged from the previous week, and remained under 4.0% for the fifth consecutive week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.93% for the week ending August 20, down from last week when it averaged 3.94%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.10%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 3.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 14th.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) and the core index both increased 0.1% in July. The consumer price index increased 0.2% for the 12-month period ending in July, while the core index rose 1.8%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from June to July. This result stems from 1 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 4 thousand to 277 thousand in the week ending August 15th. The 4-week moving average was 271.5 thousand, an increase of 5.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in July. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from the previous month, 14 states had increases, and 12 states had no change.  In July 2015, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 states and decreased in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The August 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity declined for New York manufacturers. The general business conditions index plummeted nineteen points to negative 14.9, its lowest level since 2009.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for August reported increased manufacturing activity.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.2% in July, following a 0.6% increase in June. The coincident index increased 0.2% in July, the same increase as in the previous month.

Comments are closed.