• New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5% in February, while shipments increased 0.4%. Unfilled orders decreased 0.3% in February, while inventories increased 0.3%. The inventories to shipments ratio was 1.36, unchanged from January.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $146.9 billion in March, following a deficit of $234.0 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first six months of fiscal year 2019 was $691.2 billion, compared with a deficit of $599.7 billion for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index increased 0.6% in March, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month.  The export price index increased 0.7%, the same increase as in the previous month. Import prices were virtually unchanged from March 2018 to March 2019, while export prices increased 0.6%.
  • The producer price index for final demand increased 0.6% in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade held steady in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month.  The producer price index for final demand increased 2.2% from March 2018 to March 2019, while the index excluding foods, energy, and trade increased 2.0%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.4% in March, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core, all items less food and energy, index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.9% for the 12-month period ending in March, while the core index rose 2.0%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.3% from February to March.This result stems from a 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 8 thousand to 196 thousand in the week ending April 6. This is the lowest level for initial claims since October 4, 1969 when it was 193 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 207 thousand, a decrease of 7 thousand from the previous week’s average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 6, 1969 when it was 204.5 thousand. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 30 was 1,713 thousand, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,734.5 thousand, a decrease of 11 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The number of job openings fell to 7.1 million on the last business day of February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3% and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 1.2%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing modestly during the week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12% for the week ending April 11, up from last week when it averaged 4.08%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.42%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.60% for the week ending April 11, up from last week when it averaged 3.56%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 5th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for April was 96.9, down from 98.4 in March. The Index was 98.8 in April of last year. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased to 114.2 in April, from 113.3 in March. The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 85.8 in April, from 88.8 in March.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 196 thousand in March, following an increase of 33 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 182 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 14 thousand. In March, notable employment growth was realized in health care, and in professional and technical services.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8% in March. The unemployment rate was 4.0% in March of 2018.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $27.70. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%.
  • The labor force participation rate, at 63.0%, changed little in March, and the employment population ratio held at 60.6%.
  • the number of unemployed persons decreased by 24 thousand to 6.211 million. At 1.305 million, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in March and accounted for 21.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 31 thousand.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 202 thousand in the week ending March 30. This is the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 when it was 202 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 213.5 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 23 was 1,717 thousand, a decrease of 38 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,743.25 thousand a decrease of 8 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 283 of the 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 67 areas, and unchanged in 39 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February, 39 metropolitan areas had year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, and 350 had essentially no change.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates held steady after seeing major drops during the week. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.08% for the week ending April 4, up from a week earlier when it averaged 4.06%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.40%. 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.56%, down from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 18.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 29th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in March, and the overall economy grew for the 119th consecutive month.
  • In March, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 110th consecutive month. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while two industries reported contraction in March.