• New orders for manufactured durable goods in December increased 1.2%, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month. Shipments increased 0.8%, following a 1.0% increase in November. New orders increased 8.1% in the year 2018, and shipments increased 7.3%.
  • Wholesale trade, information, and finance and insurance were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Nineteen of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.4% increase in real GDP in the third quarter.
  • January existing home sales were down 1.2% from the previous month, and were down 8.5% from January 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $247.5 thousand, 2.8% above January 2018. There were 1.59 million existing homes for sale at the end of the month.  This represents a supply of 3.9 months at the current sales rate, compared to 3.4 in January of 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates continued on their downward pattern. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35% for the week ending February 21, down from last week when it averaged 4.37%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.40%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.78%, down from last week when it averaged 3.81%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 3.6% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 15th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 23 thousand to 216 thousand in the week ending February 16. The 4-week moving average was 235.75 thousand, an increase of 4 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.1% in January, after holding steady in the previous month. Over the six-month span through January, the leading index increased 0.8% (about a 1.6% annual rate). The Conference Board coincident economic index increased 0.1% in January, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through January, the coincident index increased 1.2% (about a 2.3% annual rate).

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