Key Economic Indicators – November 2, 2015

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.5% in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, after increasing 3.9% in the previous quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product were up 3.0%, compared with a 3.9% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.3% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 1.5% in the previous quarter. 
  • Personal income and personal consumption expenditures both increased 0.1% in September. Real disposable personal income and real personal consumption expenditures both increased 0.2%.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.1% in September, while the core index increased 0.1%.  The price index (headline index) was up 0.2% from September 2014, while the core index was up 1.3%.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.2% in September, following a 3.0% decrease in the previous month, according to the Census Bureau. Shipments increased 0.2% in September, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date, new orders were down 4.6% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 2.1%.
  • September new home sales were down 11.5% from the previous month, but were up 2.0% from September 2014 figure, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median sales price of new houses sold was $296.9 thousand, 13.5% above September 2014.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 2.3% in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 3.0% from September 2014.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Indices show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. The index posted an annual increase of 4.7% in August, compared with 4.6% in July. As of August 2015, average home prices are back to their levels posted in the winter of 2007, and approximately 11-13% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of October 29th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.76% for the week ending October 29, down from last week when it averaged 3.79%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.98%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 23rd.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased a thousand to 260 thousand in the week ending October 24, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The 4-week moving average was 259.25 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s average. This was the lowest level since December 15, 1973 when it was 256.75 thousand.
  • The Employment Cost Index for total compensation rose 0.6%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending September 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.0% for the 12-month period ending September 2015.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased moderately in September, declined in October. The index now stands at 97.6 (1985=100), down from 102.6 in September.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 90.0 in October, from 87.2 in September. The index was 86.9 in October of 2014.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%, and indicated that “economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below the Committee views as normal in the long run.
  • The Texas Business Outlook Surveys point to continued weakness in the manufacturing sector and moderate strength in services, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Fifth District manufacturing activity remained soft in October, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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