Key Economic Indicators – January 4, 2016

  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 0.9% in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index was up 2.7% from a year ago.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Indices show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months.  The U.S. National Home Price Index was up 5.2% in October, from a year ago. After seasonal adjustment, the index increased 0.9% in October, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. As of October 2015, average home prices are back to their winter 2007 levels and are approximately 11-13% below their June/July 2006 peaks.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 31st showed average fixed mortgage rates moving higher with the 30-year fixed-rate breaking the four percent mark for the first time in five months. 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.01% for the week ending December 31, up from last week when it averaged 3.96%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • The U.S. net international investment position at the end of the third quarter was negative $7,269.8 billion, compared with negative $6,743.1 at the end of the previous quarter. U.S. assets were $23,311.9 billion at the end of the third quarter, and U.S. liabilities were $30,581.8 billion.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 20 thousand to 287 thousand in the week ending December 26, according to U.S. Department of Labor. The 4-week moving average was 277 thousand, an increase of 4.5 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average of 272.5 thousand.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 322 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 54 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 294 metropolitan areas, decreased in 82 areas, and was unchanged in 11 areas.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had decreased in November, improved in December.  

Comments are closed.