Key Economic Indicators – August 31, 2015

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.7% in the second quarter of 2015, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, after increasing at 0.6% in the previous quarter. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 2.3%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5% in the second quarter, compared to a decrease of 1.6% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $47.5 billion in the second quarter, after a decrease of $123.0 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.4%, in July. Disposable personal income increased 0.5%, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) and the core index both increased 0.1% in July. The price index (headline index) was up 0.3% from July 2014, while the core index was up 1.2%.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.0% in July, while shipments increased 1.0%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 5.1% from the same period in 2014, while shipments were up 2.5%.
  • July new home sales increased 5.4% to an annualized rate of 507 thousand units. The July figure was 25.8% above the July 2014 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $285.9 thousand, 2.0% above July 2014.  
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from May to June, following a 0.5% increase in the previous period, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in June, U.S. house prices rose 5.6%.
  • The S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index recorded a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in June 2015. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes posted annual increases of 4.6% and 5.0% in the 12 months ending in June, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively. As of June 2015, both indexes were back to their winter 2005 levels, and were approximately 12-14% below from their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 0.5% in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 7.4% from July 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of August 27th showed average fixed mortgage rates falling to their lowest levels since May amid ongoing global volatility. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.84% for the week ending August 27, down from last week when it averaged 3.93%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.10%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 21st.  
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 6 thousand to 271 thousand in the week ending August 22nd. The 4-week moving average was 272.5 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Chicago FED National Activity Index rose to 0.34 in July, from negative 0.07 in June.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity continued to decline moderately in August.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond survey indicated that Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in August.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined in July, rebounded in August. The Index increased to 101.5 in August, from 91.0 in July.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 91.9 in August, from 93.1 in July.

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