• The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 19 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending December 26. The 4-week moving average was 836.75 thousand, an increase of 17.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 19 was 5,219 thousand, a decrease of 103 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,457.25 thousand, a decrease of 77 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending December 19, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates remain near record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.67% for the week ending December 31, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.66%, which was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.72%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.17%, down from last week when it averaged 2.19%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.16%.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for December increased to 80.7, from 76.9 in November. The Index was 99.3 in December 2019. The Current Conditions Index increased to 90.0, from 87.0, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 74.6, from 70.5.
  • There were 84,602,857 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,836,136 deaths, and 47,604,898 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/3/2021, 3:00 EST). In the United States, there are 20,429,852 confirmed cases, 350,195 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. However, there are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 three weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Regardless of data issues, the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.

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