Key Economic Indicators – December 21, 2015

  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.6% in November, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. The index is down 1.2% from November of 2014. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 77.0%, down 3.1 percentage points from the long-run (1972-2014) average.
  • The current account deficit increased to $124.1 billion in the third quarter, from $111.1 billion in the previous quarter. The deficit increased to 2.7% of GDP, from 2.5% in the second quarter.
  • Housing starts in November were up 10.5% from the previous month, and were up 16.5% from November 2014. Building permits in November were up 11.0% from the previous month, and were up 19.5% from November 2014.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased a point to 61 in December. The index was 57 in January, and 58 in December of 2014.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 17th showed average fixed mortgage rates ticking slightly higher for the second week in a row. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97% for the week ending December 17, up from last week when it averaged 3.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.80%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 11th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 11 thousand to 271 thousand in the week ending December 12. The 4-week moving average was 270.5 thousand, a decrease of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from October to November. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings, combined with no change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The consumer price index (headline index), which increased 0.2% in October, held steady in November. The core index increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 0.5% for the 12-month period ending in November, while the core index rose 2.0%.
  • The December 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity declined for a fifth consecutive month for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that manufacturing activity in the region weakened in December.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in November, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.5%. The coincident index increased 0.1% in November, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 1.2%.
  • he Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise its target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% to 0.50%, and indicated that “monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and return to 2% inflation.”

Comments are closed.