· Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 4.2%.
· Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 1.4% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.4% in the previous quarter.
· The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4% in the previous quarter.
· The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.6%, compared with an increase of 2.0%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.6%, compared with an increase of 2.1%.
· New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.8% in September, while shipments increased 1.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%, while shipments increased 0.3%. Year-to-date new orders were up 8.9% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 7.2%.
· Retail inventories for September were up 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 3.1% from September 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
· Wholesale inventories for September were up 0.3% from the previous month, and were up 5.1% from a year ago.
· The international trade deficit in goods was $76.0 billion in September, up $0.6 billion from $75.5 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Exports of goods for September were $141.0 billion, $2.5 billion more than August exports. Imports of goods for September were $217.0 billion, $3.1 billion more than August imports.
· September new home sales decreased 5.5% to an annualized rate of 553 thousand units. The September figure was 13.2% below the September 2017 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $320.0 thousand, 3.5% below September 2017.
· The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 0.5% to 104.6 in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 1.0% below September 2017.
· U.S. house prices increased 0.3% in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in August, U.S. house prices rose 6.1%.
· The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing slightly across the board. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.86% for the week ending October 25, up from last week when it averaged 4.85%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 3.94%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.29%, up from last week when it averaged 4.26%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 3.25%.
· Mortgage applications increased 4.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 19th.
· The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 5 thousand to 215 thousand in the week ending October 20. The 4-week moving average was 211.75 thousand, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 13 was 1,636 thousand, a decrease of 5 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since August 14, 1973 when it was 1,633 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,646.5 thousand, a decrease of 6.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since August 11, 1973 when it was 1,627.25 thousand.
· The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for October decreased to 98.6, from 100.1 in September. The Index was 100.7 in October 2017.
· The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that economic activity expanded across the United States, with the majority of Districts reporting modest to moderate growth.