• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for April were down 0.2% from March but were up 3.1% from April 2018. Excluding motor vehicles & parts, retail sales were up 0.1% from the previous month, and were up 3.3% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 4.0% from the same period a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for March were up 1.6% from the previous month and were up 3.7% from a year ago. Total business inventories were virtually unchanged from February and were up 5.0% from March 2018. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.37 in March, compared with 1.36 year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.5% in April, following a 0.2% increase as in the previous month. The index was up 0.9% from April 2018. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.6 percentage point in April to 77.9, a rate that is 1.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
  • Real state personal income grew on average 2.6% in 2017, after increasing 1.5% in 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Real state personal income is a state’s current-dollar personal income adjusted by the state’s regional price parity and the national personal consumption expenditures price index.  The percent change in real state personal income ranged from 4.5% in New York to negative 1.3% in North Dakota. Across metropolitan areas, the percent change ranged from 14.8% in Midland, MI to negative 5.9% in Enid, OK.
  • Housing starts in April increased 5.7% from the previous month but decreased 2.5% from a year ago. Building permits in April increased 0.6% from March but decreased 5.0% from April 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average fixed mortgage rates dropped slightly. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.07% for the week ending May 16, down from last week when it averaged 4.10%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.61%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.53%, down from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.08%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 10th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 16 thousand to 212 thousand in the week ending May 11. The 4-week moving average was 225 thousand, an increase of 4.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The unemployment rate for foreign-born persons in the United States was 3.5% in 2018, down from 4.1% in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate of native-born persons was 4.0% in 2018, down from 4.4% in 2017.
  • U.S. import prices increased 0.2% in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, after increasing 0.6% in March. The April advance was driven by higher fuel prices, which more than offset decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.2% in April after a 0.6% rise in March. Import prices decreased 0.2% over the 12-month period ended in April, while export prices increased 0.3%.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for May indicated that region’s manufacturing activity continued to expand this month. The Index was 16.6 in May, up from 8.5 in April. The prices paid index increased 1.5 points, while the prices received index, decreased 2.5 points.
  • The May Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that manufacturing activity picked up in New York State. The general business conditions index increased 7.7 points to 17.8 in May, from 10.1 in April. The prices paid index decreased 1.1 points to 26.2, while the prices received index decreased 1.6 points to 12.4.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Real GDP growth ranged from 6.6% in Texas to 0.0% in Delaware. Wholesale trade, mining, and information services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally.  Mining and wholesale trade were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP in Texas, the fastest growing state.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.2% in April, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.4%, after holding steady in March. The producer price index for final demand increased 2.2% for the 12 months ended in April, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also increased 2.2%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in April, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.0% for the 12-month period ending in April, while the core index rose 2.1%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1% from March to April. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 2 thousand to 228 thousand in the week ending May 4. The 4-week moving average was 220.23 thousand, an increase of 7.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • There were 7.5 million job openings on the last business day of March. The job openings rate for March was 4.7%, compared with 4.4% a year ago. The number of hires was virtually unchanged at 5.7 million in March. There were 5.4 million total separations, little changed from February.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 263 thousand in April, following an increase of 189 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 236 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 27 thousand. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 3.6% in April, from 3.8% in March. The unemployment rate was 3.9% in April of 2018.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents to $27.77. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in April and accounted for 21.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long term unemployed was down by 75 thousand.
  • The labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8% in April but was unchanged from a year earlier.
  • First quarter productivity increased 3.6% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 1.3% increase in the final quarter of 2018. Unit labor costs decreased 0.9% in the first quarter of 2019, reflecting a 2.6% increase in hourly compensation and a 3.6% increase in productivity. From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, productivity increased 2.4%, as output increased 3.9%, and hours worked increased 1.5%.
  • Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in March 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70% of compensation costs) increased 0.7% and benefit costs (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) also increased 0.7% from December 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment held steady at 230 thousand in the week ending April 27. The 4-week moving average was 212.5 thousand, an increase of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.