Key Economic Indicators – October 24, 2016

  • Total Industrial production, which decreased 0.5% in August, increased 0.1% in September. Total industrial production in September was 1.0% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization increased 0.1 percentage point to 75.4%, 4.6 percentage points below its 1972-2015 average.
  • Existing home sales increased 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September, from 5.30 million in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in September was $234.2 thousand, up 5.6% from September 2015. This was the 55th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of September increased 1.5% from the previous month, but decreased 6.8% from a year ago, to 2.04 million. Unsold inventory was at a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.6 months in August. Properties typically stayed on the market for 39 days in September, up from 36 days in August, but down from 49 days in September of 2015.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates moving higher. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.52% for the week ending October 20, up from last week when it averaged 3.47%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.79%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 14th.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.3% in September, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.3% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 2.2%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 260 thousand in the week ending October 15, an increase of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 251.75 thousand, an increase of 2.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The October 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity continued to decline for New York manufacturers. The headline index decreased to negative 6.8 in October, from negative 2.0 in September.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey indicated that regional manufacturing activity continued to improve in October.  The headline index was 9.7 in October, compared with 12.8 in September.
  • Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest national economic activity continued to expand during the reporting period from late August to early October, according to the “Beige Book”.

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