Key Economic Indicators – January 9, 2017

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 156 thousand in December, following an increase of 204 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 144 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 12 thousand.
  • The number of unemployed persons increased by 120 thousand to 7.529 million. The unemployment rate edged up to 4.7% in December, from 4.6% in November. The unemployment rate was 5.0% in December of 2015.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.3 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 10 cents to $26.00, while average weekly earnings decreased by $3.43 to $891.80.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.9%, and average weekly earnings were up 2.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 28 thousand to 235 thousand in the week ending December 31. The 4-week moving average was 256.75 thousand, a decrease of 5.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 1.3% in December, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales increased 3.1%. Total vehicle sales were 18.3 million units in December, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.7 million in the previous month, and 17.4 million in December of 2015.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 2.4% in November, while shipments decreased 0.1%. Year-to-date, new orders were down 1.8% from the same period in 2015, while shipments were down 2.0%.
  • In November, international trade deficit was $45.2 billion, $2.9 billion more than the revised October figure. The cumulative trade deficit for the first eleven months of 2016 was $454.0 billion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $458.9 billion during the first eleven months of 2015.
  • Construction spending in November was up 0.9% from the previous month, and was up 4.1% from November 2015. Private construction increased 1.0%, while public construction increased 0.8%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of January 5th showed that 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell this week for the first time since November. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.20% for the week ending January 5, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.32%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.97%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 12.0% from two weeks earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 30.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in December, and the overall economy grew for the 91st consecutive month.
  • In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity (exceeded 50.0%) for the 83rd consecutive month. Twelve non-manufacturing industries reported growth, and three industries reported contraction.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank Chicago’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) held steady at negative 0.76 in the week ending December 30. The credit sub-index ticked up from the previous week, while the risk, leverage and nonfinancial leverage sub-indexes were all unchanged.

Comments are closed.