• New orders for manufactured goods increased 0.1% in January, The same increase as in the previous month. Shipments decreased 0.4%, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. Inventories increased 0.5%, following a 0.1% increase as in the previous month.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 9 thousand to 221 thousand in the week ending March 16. The 4-week moving average was 225 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 9 was 1,750 thousand, a decrease of 27 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,772.5 thousand, an increase of 6 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in February in 4 states and stable in 46 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 41 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 2 states in February 2019 and was essentially unchanged in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 22 states added nonfarm payroll jobs. Job growth in 28 states and the District of Columbia were essentially unchanged.
  • Private nonfarm business sector multifactor productivity increased 1.0% in 2018, following a 0.4% decrease in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This 2018 increase reflected a 3.5% increase in output and a 2.6% increase in the combined inputs of capital and labor. Capital services grew by 2.9% and labor input grew by 2.4%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates dropped with the beginning of spring homebuying season. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.28% for the week ending March 21, down from last week when it averaged 4.31%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.45%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.71%, unchanged from last week. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.91%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 15th.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.2% in February, after holding steady in the previous month. In the six-month period ending February 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.5% (about a 1.1% annual rate). The coincident index increased 0.2% in February, following a 0.1% increase in January. The coincident economic index rose 1.1% (about a 2.3% annual rate) for the six-month period ending February 2019.

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