Key Economic Indicators – June 6, 2016

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 38 thousand in May, following an increase of 123 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 25 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 13 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 4.7% in May, from 5.0% in April. The rate of unemployment was 5.5% in May of 2015.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours.
  • Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $25.59. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased a thousand to 267 thousand in the week ending May 28. The 4-week moving average was 276.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in April than a year earlier in 269 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 94 areas, and unchanged in 24 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 327 metropolitan areas, decreased in 54 areas, and was unchanged in 6 areas. The national unemployment rate in April was 4.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.1 percent a year earlier.
  • Personal income increased 0.4% in April, while personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%, while the core index increased 0.2%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.1% from April 2015, while the core index was up 1.6%
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 11.9% in May, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 0.2%. Total vehicle sales were 17.4 million units in May, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.6 million in May 2015 and 16.6 million in May 2014.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.9% in April, while shipments increased 0.5%. Year-to-date new orders were down 2.3%, and shipments were down 2.8%.
  • In April international trade deficit was $37.4 billion, $1.9 billion more than the revised March figure. The cumulative deficit was $159.3 billion for the first four months of 2016, compared with a deficit of $167.4 billion for the same period of the previous year.
  • April construction spending was down 1.8% from the previous month, but was up 4.5% from a year ago. Private construction decreased 1.5%, while public construction decreased 2.8%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly higher. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.66% for the week ending June 2, up from last week when it averaged 3.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 27th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 84th consecutive month.
  • In May, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 76th consecutive month.
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded modestly during the reporting period from early April through mid-May.


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