• 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.

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