Key Economic Indicators – December 14, 2015

  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 1.4% from November 2014. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 2.0% from the same period in 2014, while sales excluding autos were up 0.8%.

  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were down 0.2% from the previous month, and were down 2.7% from October 2014. Inventories were virtually unchanged from the previous month, and were up 2.0% from October 2014.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers in October decreased less than 0.1%, while inventories decreased 0.1%.  The October inventories/sales ratio was 1.31, compared with 1.22 in October 2014.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $64.6 billion in November, after a deficit of $136.5 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first two months of the 2016 fiscal year was $201.1, compared with a deficit of $188.5 for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • Domestic non-financial debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.4% in the second quarter, following an increase of 2.5% in the previous quarter.  Household debt rose 3.9% in the second quarter, while nonfinancial business debt rose 8.3%. Federal government debt increased 2.4%, while state and local government debt increased 1.0%
  • The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, gross domestic product by state for 21 industries on a quarterly basis. These new data supplement BEA’s national quarterly GDP by industry statistics first released in April 2014. Real GDP increased in 46 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2015. Overall, U.S. real GDP by state grew at an annual rate of 3.8% in the second quarter of 2015, following a 0.7% increase in the first quarter.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.3% in November, while the final demand for goods less foods and energy index decreased 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand decreased 1.1% from November 2014 to November 2015.
  • The import price index decreased 0.4% in November, while export prices decreased 0.6%. The import price index decreased 9.4% from November 2014, while the price index for exports decreased 6.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 13 thousand to 282 thousand in the week ending December 5. The 4-week moving average was 270.75 thousand, an increase of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.1 million and 4.9 million, respectively.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $33.37 per hour worked in September. Wages and salaries averaged $22.88 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefits averaged $10.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 10th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly higher on a better than expected employment report. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.95% for the week ending December 10, up from last week when it averaged 3.93%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.93%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 4th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, was virtually unchanged in early December.

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