• The U.S. current-account deficit decreased to $130.4 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2019 from $143.9 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  The deficit decreased to 2.5% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.8% in the previous quarter. The $13.5 billion decrease in the current-account deficit mostly reflected a decrease in the in the deficit on goods that was partly offset by an increase in the deficit on secondary income.
  • May existing home sales increased 2.5% to an annualized rate of 5,340 thousand units. The May figure was 1.1% below the May 2018 figure. There were 1,920 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.3 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.2 in May of 2018. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $277.7 thousand, 4.8% above May 2018.
  • Housing starts in May were down 0.9% from the previous month and were down 4.7% from a year ago. Year-to-date, housing starts were down 5.3% from the same period a year ago. Building permits were up 0.3% from the previous month but were down 0.5% from May 2018. Year-to-date, building permits were down 3.0% from the same period a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates have stabilized. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.84% for the week ending June 20, up from last week when it averaged 3.82%. A year ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.57%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25% for the week ending June 20, down from last week when it averaged 3.26%. A year ago this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.04%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.4% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 14th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 216 thousand in the week ending June 15. The 4-week moving average was 218.75 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 8 was 1,662 thousand, a decrease of 37 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,679 thousand, a decrease of 5.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in May in 6 states, higher in 2 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, 1 state had an increase, and 44 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 1 state in May and was essentially unchanged in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 24 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 26 states and the District of Columbia were essentially unchanged.
  • Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $36.77 per hour worked in March 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries cost employers $25.22 while benefit costs were $11.55. Total compensation costs for civilian workers were $12.71 at the 10th wage percentile, $27.87 at the 50th (median) wage percentile, and $72.62 at the 90th wage percentile. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $34.49 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $24.17 per hour worked and accounted for 70.1% of employer costs. Benefit costs averaged $10.33 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 29.9%. Median employer costs per employee hour worked were $17.64 for wages and salaries and $7.57 for benefits. State and local government worker compensation costs for employers averaged $50.89 per hour worked in March 2019. Wages and salaries averaged $31.75 and accounted for 62.4% of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $19.14 and accounted for 37.6%.
  • The June 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity took a sharp turn downward for New York manufacturers. The headline (general business conditions) index decreased from 17.8 in May to negative 8.6 in June. The prices paid index edged up 1.6 points to 27.8 in June, and the prices received index decreased 5.6 points to 6.8.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey reported that manufacturing activity in the region weakened in June. The general business activity index decreased from 16.6 in May to 0.3 in June. The prices paid index decreased from 23.2 in May to 12.9 in June, while prices received index decreased from 17.5 to 0.6.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators held steady in May, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. Over the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 0.3% (about a 0.5% annual rate), with five out of ten components advancing. The Conference Board coincident economic index increased 0.2% in May, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through May, the coincident index increased 0.7%% (about a 1.3% annual rate), with three out of four components advancing.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25% to 2.50%. “The Committee continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook have increased. In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.”
  • The producer price index for final demand increased 0.1% in May, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous month. The price index for final demand excluding foods, energy, and trade increased 0.4%, the same increase as in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.8% from May 2018 to May 2019, while the index for final demand excluding foods, energy, and trade increased 2.3%.
  • The import price index decreased 0.3% in May, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The overall import price index decreased 1.5% from May 2018.  The export price index decreased 0.2% in May, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The price index for overall exports decreased 0.7% from May 2018.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.1% in May, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.8% for the 12-month period ending in May, while the core index rose 2.0%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.2% from April to May. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 7.4 million on the last business day of April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires increased to 5.9 million, and separations were little changed at 5.6 million.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 3 thousand to 222 thousand in the week ending June 8. The 4-week moving average was 217.75 thousand, an increase of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 1 was 1,695 thousand, an increase of 2 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,683.25 thousand, an increase of 7.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment edged up 75 thousand in May, following an increase of 224 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 90 thousand in May, while government employment decreased by 15 thousand. Monthly job gains have averaged 164 thousand in 2019, compared with an average gain of 223 thousand per month in 2018. In May, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in health care.
  • The unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in May. The unemployment rate was 3.8% in May 2018.
  • The number of unemployed edged up by 64 thousand to 5.888 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 68 thousand to 1.298 million and accounted for 22.4% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.8% in May, and employment-population ratio was unchanged at 60.6%.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours.
  • In May, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $27.83. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.1%.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.8% in April, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. Shipments decreased 0.5%, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were up 1.6%, and shipments were up 2.6%.
  • In April, international trade deficit in goods and services was $50.8 billion, down $1.1 billion from March. Exports decreased $4.6 billion to $206.8 billion, and imports decreased $5.7 billion to $257.6 billion. The cumulative deficit was $205.4 billion for the first four months of 2019, compared with a deficit of $201.3 billion for the same period of the previous year.
  • Non-farm business sector labor productivity increased 3.4% during the first quarter of 2019, following a 1.3% increase in the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Unit labor costs decreased 1.6%, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous quarter. Productivity in the non-farm business sector increased 2.4% from the first quarter of 2018, and unit labor costs also decreased 0.8%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was unchanged at 222 thousand in the week ending June 1. The 4-week moving average was 215 thousand, a decrease of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 25 was 1,682 thousand, an increase of 20 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,672.75 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the “second” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2%. In the advance estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 3.2% for the first quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.1% in the final quarter of 2018.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.4% in the first quarter of 2019, compared with a decrease of 0.5% in the final quarter of 2018.
  • The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 2.2% in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.7% in the first quarter of 2019, compared with an increase of 1.7% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.4%, compared with an increase of 1.5%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.0%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $65.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019, after a decrease of $9.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $7.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019, in contrast to a decrease of $25.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $62.0=1 billion, compared with an increase of $13.6 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $10.7 billion in the first quarter, following an increase of $1.9 billion.
  • Personal income increased 0.5% in April, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%, after increasing 1.1% in the previous month. Real disposable income increased 0.1% in April, while real personal consumption expenditures held steady. The savings rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable income, was 6.2% in April, up from 6.1% in March.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3% in April, after an increase of 0.2% in March. The core index increased 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 1.5% from April 2018, while the core index was up 1.6%.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 2.1% in April, while shipments decreased 1.6%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased less than 0.1%, while shipments decreased 0.2%. Year-to-date new orders were up 2.0% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 4.1%.
  • April existing home sales decreased 0.4% to an annualized rate of 5,190 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The April figure was 4.4% below the April 2018 figure. There were 1,830 thousand homes for sale at the end of the month. This represents a supply of 4.2 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.0 in April of 2018. The median sales price of existing homes sold was $267.3 thousand, 3.6% above April 2018.
  • April new home sales decreased 6.9% to an annualized rate of 673 thousand units. The April figure was 7.0% above the April 2018 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $342.2 thousand, 8.8% above April 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates were little changed. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.06% for the week ending May 23, down from last week when it averaged 4.07%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 4.66%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51%, down from last week when it averaged 3.53%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate averaged 4.15%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.4% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 17th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased a thousand to 211 thousand in the week ending May 18. The 4-week moving average was 220.25 thousand, a decrease of 4.75 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 11 was 1,676 thousand, an increase of 12 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,674.25 thousand, an increase of 5.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • From December 2017 to December 2018, employment increased in 296 of the 349 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 10.0% over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.5%. The U.S. average weekly wage increased 3.2% over the year, growing to $1,144 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1%.
  • Labor productivity rose in 18 of 28 selected service-providing industries in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Output increased in 21 industries in 2018, while hours worked increased in 15 industries. Productivity gains of at least 7.0% occurred in 4 industries: natural gas distribution (13.5%), dry-cleaning and laundry services (10.9%), wireless telecommunications carriers (10.1%), and travel arrangement and reservation services (7.3%). In all 4 of these industries, output increases coincided with declines in hours worked.
  • 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.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8% in the first quarter of 2019, compared with an increase of 1.7% in the previous quarter. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.6%, compared with an increase of 1.5% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.1% in the final quarter of 2018.
  • Current-dollar GDP increased 3.8%, or $197.6 billion, in the first quarter, and reached an annual level of $21.063 trillion.
  • Personal income increased 0.1% in March, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.9%. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.2% in March, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.7%. The personal saving rate – personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income – was 6.5% in March, compared with 7.3% in February.
  • The Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the personal consumption expenditures price index (core index) increased less than 0.1%. The headline price index (PCE) was up 1.5% from March 2018, while the core index was up 1.6%
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.7% in March, while shipments increased 0.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%, while shipments decreased 0.1%. Year-to-date new orders were up 3.0% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 4.6%.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for March were up 1.6% from February and were up 3.6% from March 2018. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales in March were up 1.2% from the previous month and were up 3.6% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 2.9% from the same period a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for February were up 0.1% from January and were up 2.4% from February 2018.  Total business inventories for February were up 0.3% from the previous month and were up 4.9% from a year ago.
  • February sales of merchant wholesalers were up 0.3% from the previous month and were up 2.1% from a year ago. Inventories for February were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 6.9% from a year ago. The February inventories/sales ratio was 1.35, compared with 1.29 in February 2018.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.1% in March following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The index was 2.8% above its March 2018 level.
  • Capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged down 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972-2018) average, but 0.6 percentage point above March 2018 level.
  • Real GDP increased 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Growth was relatively widespread, with 15 of 22 industry groups contributing to the increase. Wholesale trade, mining, and information were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP. Real GDP increased 2.9% in the year 2018.  The private goods‐ and services‐producing sectors, as well as the government sector, contributed to the increase. Growth was widespread, with 19 of 22 industry groups contributing to the increase. Information; professional, scientific, and technical services; and durable goods manufacturing were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP
  • The international trade deficit was $49.4 billion in February, down $1.8 billion from $51.1 billion in January, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods and services for February were $209.7 billion, $2.3 billion more than January exports. Imports of goods and services for February were $259.1 billion, $0.6 billion more than January imports.
  • Housing starts in March were down 0.3% from the previous month and were down 14.2% from a year ago. Building permits were down 1.7% from the previous month and were down 7.8% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average fixed mortgage rates rising for the third consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17% for the week ending April 18, up from last week when it averaged 4.12%. A year ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.47%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62%, up from last week when it averaged 3.60%. A year ago this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.94%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 12th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 192 thousand in the week ending April 13. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 201.25 thousand, a decrease of 6 thousand from the previous week’s average. This is the lowest level for this average since November 1, 1969 when it was 200.5 thousand.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in March in 6 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 41 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 44 states and the District of Columbia had little or no change. Over the year, 22 states added nonfarm payroll jobs, and 28 states and the District of Colombia were essentially unchanged.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 116.1 million full-time wage and salary workers were $905 in the first quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 2.7% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.6% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
  • In 2018, 5.2% of families included an unemployed person, down from 5.8% in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the nation’s 82.5 million families, 80.8% had at least one employed member in 2018.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. Over the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 0.4% (about an 0.7% annual rate). The Conference Board coincident economic index increased 0.1% in March, the same increase as in the previous month. Over the six-month span through March, the coincident index increased 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate).
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and early April.
  • The April Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew modestly in New York. The general business conditions index was 10.1 in April, compared with 3.7 in March. The prices paid index decreased 6.8 points, while the prices received index decreased 4.1 points.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for April reported continued growth in manufacturing activity in the region. The indicator for general activity, decreased to 8.5 in April, from 13.7 in March. The prices paid index rose to 21.6, while prices received index decreased to 20.0.