Key Economic Indicators – February 29, 2016

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, after increasing at 2.0% in the previous quarter. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 0.7%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.4% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 1.3% in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.5%, in January, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Real disposable personal income and real personal consumption expenditures both increased 0.4% in January.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in January, following a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. The core index, which increased 0.1 in December, increased 0.3% in January. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.3% from January 2015, while the core index was up 2.1%
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 4.9% in January while shipments increased 1.9%.
  • January existing home sales were up 0.4% from the previous month, and were up 11.0% from January 2015. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $213.8 thousand, 8.2% above January 2015.
  • January new home sales were down 9.2% from December, and were down 5.2% from January of 2015. The median sales price of new houses sold was $278.8 thousand, 4.5% below January 2015.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from November to December, after a 0.6% increase in the previous period, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in December, U.S. prices rose 5.7%.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted an annual increase of 5.4% in December, compared with a 5.2% increase in November. The index levels for the U.S. National, 10-city and 20-city composite indices are back to their winter 2007 levels, and are approximately 11-13% below the June/July 2006 peak,
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62% for the week ending February 25, down from last week when it averaged 3.65%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.80%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.3% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 19.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 272 thousand in the week ending February 20. The 4-week moving average was 272 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Fifth District manufacturing and service sector activity both slowed in February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had increased moderately in January, declined in February.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 91.7 in February, from 92.0 in January. The index was 95.4 in February 2015.

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