· New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.2% in October, while shipments increased 0.1%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.8%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 4.9%, and shipments were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.
· Existing home sales increased 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October, from 5.37 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in October was $247.0 thousand, up 5.5% from October 2016. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2% from the previous month, and 10.4% from a year ago, to 1.8 million. Unsold inventory was at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.2 months in September.
· The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropping slightly after last week’s jump. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.92% for the week ending November 22nd, down from last week when it averaged 3.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.03%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.32% for the week ending November 22nd, up from last week when it averaged 3.31%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%.
· The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 239 thousand in the week ending November 18, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 239.75 thousand, an increase of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 11 was 1,904 thousand, an increase of 36 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 1,890 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
· The Conference Board’s leading economic index surged 1.2% in October, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The coincident index increased 0.3%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 2.9% (about a 5.9% annual rate) with nine out of ten components advancing, while the coincident index increased 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate) with all four components advancing.
· The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was 0.65 in October, up from 0.36 in September. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to 0.28 in October from 0.01 in September. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.
· The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 98.5 in November, from 100.7 in October. The Index was 93.8 in November of 2016. The Current Conditions Index decreased from 116.5 in October to 113.5 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased from 90.5 to 88.9.