• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.0% in the second quarter of 2019, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 3.1%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was also 2.0%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 3.0% in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6% in the first quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.8% in the second quarter of 2019, compared with an increase of 3.2% in the first quarter.
  • The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 1.9% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.2% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.8% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 2.4%, compared with an increase of 0.4% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.9%, compared with an increase of 1.1%.
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $75.8 billion in the second quarter, after a decrease of $78.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $2.5 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of $22.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $34.7 billion, compared with a decrease of $108.2 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits increased $38.7 billion, compared with an increase of $7.3 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. Real disposable personal income increased 0.4%, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in August. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) held steady in August, while the core index increased 0.1%.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (headline index) increased 1.4% from August 2018, while the core index increased 1.8%.
  • State personal income grew 5.4% on average in the second quarter of 2019, after increasing 6.2% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in personal income ranged from 7.5% in Texas to unchanged in North Dakota.
  • Housing starts in August were up 12.3% from the previous month and were up 6.6% from a year ago. Building permits were up 7.7% from the previous month and were up 12.0% from August 2018.
  • August existing home sales increased 1.3% to an annualized rate of 5,490 thousand units. The August figure was 2.6% above the August 2018 figure. There were 1,860 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.3 in August of 2018. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $278.2 thousand, 4.7% above August 2018.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased a point to 68 in September. The Index was 58 in January, and 67 in September of 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.73% for the week ending September 19, up from last week when it averaged 3.56%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.65%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.21%, up from last week when it averaged 3.09%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.11%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 13th.
  • The current account deficit decreased to $128.2 billion in the second quarter, from $136.2 billion in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The deficit decreased to 2.4% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.6% in the first quarter.
  • The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $113.4 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2019, compared with $111.6 trillion at the end of the first quarter, and $108.1 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2018.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2019, compared with an annual rate of 5.9% in the previous quarter.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $53.0 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2019, of which household debt was $15.8 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $15.7 trillion, and total government debt was $21.4 trillion.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 2 thousand to 208 thousand in the week ending September 14. The 4-week moving average was 212.25, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in August in 5 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Five states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 43 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 5 states in August 2019, decreased in 1 state, and was essentially unchanged in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 26 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 24 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.61 per hour worked in June 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries averaged $25.12 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6% of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.48 and accounted for the remaining 31.4%.
  • Retirement benefits were available to 91% of state and local government workers in March 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sixty-nine percent of state and local government workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 95% of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category had access to retirement benefits. Seventy-seven percent of private industry workers had access to and participated in employer-provided retirement benefits, referred to as the take-up rate. Retirement benefits were available to 31% of workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 88% of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category.
  • The September 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity was little changed in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline general business conditions index was 2.0 in September, lower than the August figure of 4.8.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey for September indicated that manufacturing activity continued to expand. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region was 12.0, compared with to a reading of 16.8 in August.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators held steady in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. In the six-month period ending August 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.5% (about a 1.1% annual rate). The coincident index increased 0.3%, after holding steady in the previous month. The coincident economic index grew by 0.7% (about a 1.3% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in August.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1.75% to 2.00%. The Committee indicated that “This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain.”
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for August were up 0.4% from the previous month, and were up 4.1% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up less than 0.1% from the previous month and were up 3.5% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.3% from the first eight months of 2018.
  • July 2019 sales of merchant wholesalers were up 0.3% from the previous month but were virtually unchanged from the July 2018 level. Inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 7.1% from a year ago. The July inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers was 1.36 compared with 1.27 a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for July increased 0.3% from June, following a less than 0.1% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.4%, following a less than 0.1% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40 in July, compared with 1.35 a year ago.
  • Average expenditures per consumer unit for 2018 were $61,224, a 1.9% increase from 2017 levels, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  During the same period the Consumer Price Index rose 2.4% and average pretax income increased by 6.9%. Nine of the 10 largest components of household spending increased during 2018. The 7.8% rise in personal insurance and pensions expenditures was the largest percentage increase among all major components, followed by a 2.5% rise in food. The only decrease among the largest components was a 5.6% drop in education spending.  
  • Import prices decreased 0.5% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 2.0% from August 2018. The price index for exports decreased 0.6% in August, after a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.4% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.4%, after a 0.1% decrease in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.8% from August 2018 to August 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.9%.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.3% increase as in the previous month. The core index increased 0.3%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in August, while the core index rose 2.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.4% from July to August. This result stems from 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings, combined with a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 204 thousand in the week ending September 7th. The 4-week moving average was 212.5 thousand, a decrease of 4.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased slightly but stayed under 3.6% over four consecutive weeks since the fourth quarter of 2016. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.56% for the week ending September 12, up from the previous week when it averaged 3.49%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.60%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.09%, up from last week when it averaged 3.0%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.06%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending September 11th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for September increased to 92.0, from 89.8 in August. The Current Conditions Index increased to 106.9 in September, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 82.4.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 130 thousand in August, following an increase of 159 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 96 thousand, while government employment increased by 34 thousand. Job gains occurred in health care, and financial activities. The average monthly gain in employment was 158 thousand per month thus far this year, below the average monthly gain of 223 thousand in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% in August. The unemployment rate was 3.8% in August 2018.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 19 thousand to 6.044 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 77 thousand to 1.243 million and accounted for 20.6% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 77 thousand.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.2% in August.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours.
  • In August, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $28.11. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%.
  • Second quarter productivity increased 2.3% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 3.5% increase in the previous period. Hourly compensation rose 4.9%, while unit labor costs increased 2.6%. From the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, labor productivity increased 1.8%, reflecting increases in output and hours worked of 2.6% and 0.9%, respectively.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 217 thousand in the week ending August 31, an increase of a thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 216.25 thousand, an increase of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.4% in July, while shipments decreased 0.2%. Excluding transportation, new orders were up 0.3% in July, and shipments were up 0.2%. Year-to-date manufacturers’ new orders were up 0.4%, while shipments were up 1.8%.
  • Sales of domestic cars increased 0.4% in August, while total light vehicle sales increased 0.7%. Total vehicle sales were 17.0 million units in August, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 16.9 million in August of 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of September 6th showed average fixed mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49% for the week ending September 5th, down from last week when it averaged 3.58%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.54%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.00%, down from last week when it averaged 3.06%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending August 30th.