• August sales of merchant wholesalers were virtually unchanged from July and were down 0.7% from the August 2018 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 6.2% from the August 2018 level. The August inventories/sales ratio was 1.36, compared with 1.28 a year ago.
  • Import prices increased 0.2% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.6% from September 2018. The price index for exports decreased 0.2% in September, after decreasing 0.6% in the previous month. Prices for exports also decreased 1.6% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for total final demand decreased 0.3% in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade held steady, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.4% from September 2018 to September 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.7%.
  • The consumer price index held steady in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.7% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 2.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from August to September. This result stems from no change in average hourly earnings, combined with no change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 7.1 million on the last business day of August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.8 million and separations were little changed at 5.6 million.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 210 thousand in the week ending October 5, a decrease of 10 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 213.75 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.57% for the week ending October 10, down from last week when it averaged 3.65%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.90%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.05%, down from last week when it averaged 3.14. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.29%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 5.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 4th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for October increased to 96.0, from 93.2 in September. The Index was 98.6 in October 2018. The Current Conditions Index increased to 113.4, from 108.5, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 84.8, from 83.4.

 

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