Key Economic Indicators – November 9, 2015

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 271 thousand in October, following an increase of 137 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 5.0% in October, from 5.1% in September.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 9 cents to $25.20.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 16 thousand to 276 thousand in the week ending October 31, according to the Department of Labor. The 4-week average was 262.75 thousand, an increase of 3.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Third quarter productivity increased 1.6% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 3.5% increase in the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unit labor costs increased 1.4% in the third quarter, following a 1.8% decrease in the previous quarter.
  • Finance and insurance, professional, scientific, and technical services, and wholesale trade were the leading contributors to the 3.9% increase in real GDP in the second quarter, according to statistics on the breakout of GDP by industry released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 1.0% in September, following a 2.1% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Shipments decreased 0.4% in September, following a 0.9% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were down 7.2% from the same period a year, while shipments were down 4.1%.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 1.7% in October, following a 2.6% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Total light vehicle sales increased 0.3%, following a 1.9% increase in the previous month. Total vehicle sales were 18.1 million units in October, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 16.5 million in October of 2014, and 15.4 million in October 2013.
  • In September international trade deficit was $40.8 billion, down from $48.0 billion in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Year-to-date, the cumulative trade deficit was $395.0 billion, compared with a deficit of $380.0 billion for the first nine months of 2014.
  • September construction spending increased 0.6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Private construction increased 0.6%, while public construction increased 0.7%. September construction spending was up 14.1% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of November 5th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher amid expectations of possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87% for the week ending November 5, up from last week when it averaged 3.76%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.02%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.8% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 30th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the 34th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 77th consecutive month.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 69th consecutive month.

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