Key Economic Indicators – October 5, 2015

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 142 thousand in September, following an increase of 136 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased by 118 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 24 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 114 thousand to 7.915 million. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%. The unemployment rate was 5.9% in September of 2014.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased 0.1 to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by a cent to $25.09, while average weekly earnings decreased by $2.85 to $865.61.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings were  up 2.2%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 277 thousand in the week ending September 26. The 4-week moving average was 270.75 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in August, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) was up 0.3% from August 2014, while the core index was up 1.3%.
  • State personal income grew 0.9% on average in the second quarter, after growing 0.8% in the first quarter. Personal income grew in every state except Oklahoma in the second quarter.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 1.7% in August, while shipments decreased 0.7%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 7.2% from the same period in 2014 , while shipments were down 4.0%
  • Construction spending in August was up 0.7% from the previous month, and was up 13.7% from August 2014.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 1.4% in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 6.1% from August 2014.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted a year-over-year increase of 4.7%. The 10-city and 20-city composite indexes posted annual increases of 4.5% and 5.0%, respectively. As of July 2015, average home prices were back to their winter 2005 levels, and approximately 11-13% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of October 1st showed average fixed mortgage rates were largely unchanged. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85% for the week ending October 1st, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.86%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 6.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 25th.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased in August, improved moderately in September.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 33rd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 76th consecutive month.

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