Key Economic Indicators – August 27, 2018

·      New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.7% in July, while shipments decreased 0.2%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%.  Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0%. Year-to-date, new orders were up 8.6%, and shipments were up 7.1% from the same period a year ago.

·      July existing home sales were down 0.7% from the previous month, and were down 1.5% from a year ago. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $269.6 thousand, 4.5% above July 2017.

·      July new home sales were down 1.7% from the previous month, but were up 12.8% from July 2017 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $328.7 thousand, 1.8% above July 2017.

·      U.S. House prices rose 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from May to June, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in June, U.S. prices rose 6.5%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of August 23rd showed average fixed mortgage rates decreased for the third straight week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.51% for the week ending August 23rd, down from last week when it averaged 4.53%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.86%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 4.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 17th.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 210 thousand in the week ending August 18th. The 4-week moving average was 213.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.

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