• The consumer price index (headline index) decreased 0.1% in December, after holding steady in the previous month. The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.9% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 2.2%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.5% from November to December. This result stems from a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% decrease in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 17 thousand to 216 thousand in the week ending January 5. The 4-week moving average was 221.75 thousand, an increase of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The number of job openings decreased to 6.9 million on the last business day of November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.7 million and separations were also little changed at 5.5 million.
  • November consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 6.75% to $3,979.2 billion. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 5.5%, while non-revolving credit increased 7.1%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates decreasing significantly across the board. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.45% for the week ending January 10, down from last week when it averaged 4.51%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.99%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.89%, down from last week when it averaged 3.99%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.44%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 23.5% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending January 4, 2018.

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