· Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018, according to the “second” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 4.2%. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was also 3.5%.
· Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 3.1% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.0% in the previous quarter.
· Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 4.0% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9% in the second quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 3.8% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5% in the second quarter.
· The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7% in the third quarter of 2018, compared with an increase of 2.4% in the previous quarter.
· The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 2.0% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 2.1%.
· Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $76.0 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $65.0 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $7.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $16.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $66.2 billion, compared with an increase of $53.0 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $17.6 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $4.5 billion.
· Personal income increased 0.5% in October according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) also increased 0.5% and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 0.6%. Real DPI increased 0.3% in October and real PCE increased 0.4%. The PCE price index increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1%. The PCE price index increased 2.0% from a year ago, while the core (PCE excluding food and energy) price index increased 1.8%.
· The international trade deficit was $77.2 billion in October, up $1.0 billion from $76.3 billion in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Exports of goods for October were $140.5 billion, $0.8 billion less than September exports. Imports of goods for October were $217.8 billion, $0.2 billion more than September imports.
· Retail inventories for October were up 0.9% from September, and were up 4.0% from October 2017.
· Wholesale inventories for October were up 0.7% from September, and were up 6.6% from October 2017.
· October new home sales decreased 8.9% to an annualized rate of 544 thousand units. The October figure was 12.0% below the October 2017 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $309.7 thousand, 3.1% below October 2017.
· The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, decreased 2.6% to 102.1 in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is now 6.7% below October 2017.
· U.S. house prices increased 0.2% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in September, U.S. house prices rose 6.0%.
· The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.5% annual gain in September, down from 5.7% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 4.8%, down from 5.2% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.1% year-over-year gain, down from 5.5% the previous month.
· The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates remained stable. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.81% for the week ending November 29, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 3.90%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.25%, up from last week when it averaged 4.24%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 3.30%.
· Mortgage applications increased 5.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 23rd.
· The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 234 thousand in the week ending November 24. The 4-week moving average was 223.25 thousand, an increase of 4.75 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 17 was 1,710 thousand, an increase of 50 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,667.75 thousand, an increase of 19.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
· Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 272 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 95 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 56 metropolitan areas, and was essentially unchanged in 332 areas.
· The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in October, declined in November. The Index now stands at 135.7 (1985=100), down from 137.9 in October. The Present Situation Index increased slightly from 171.9 to 172.7, while the Expectations Index decreased from 115.1 to 111.0.