Key Economic Indicators – November 16, 2015

  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for October were up 0.1% from September, and were up 1.7% from October 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from September, and were up 0.5% from a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for September were virtually unchanged from August, while inventories were up 0.3%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.38, compared with 1.31 in September 2014.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers for September were up 0.5% from the previous month, but were down 3.9% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Inventories were up 0.5% from August, and were up 4.7% from September of 2014.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $136.5 billion in October, after a surplus of $91.1 billion in the previous month, according to the Bureau of Fiscal Service, Department of the Treasury.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was unchanged at 276 thousand in the week ending November 7. The 4-week moving average was 267.75 thousand, an increase of 5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 5.5 million on the last business day of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.0 million and 4.8 million, respectively. Job openings rose over the year for several industries with the largest increases occurring in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade.
  • The producer price index for total final demand decreased 0.4% in October, while the index for final demand goods less foods and energy decreased 0.3%. The producer price index for final demand decreased 1.6% from October 2014 to October 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 0.5% in October, while the export price index decreased 0.2%. The import price index decreased 10.5% from October 2014, while the price index for exports decreased 6.7%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates rising amid continued expectations of a possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98% for the week ending November 12th, up from last week when it averaged 3.87%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.01%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 6th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 93.1 in early November, from the final reading of 90.0 in October. The Index was 88.8 in November of 2014.

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