• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for November were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 3.3% from November 2018. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, sales were up 0.1% from the previous month, and were up 3.0% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales and food services were up 3.4% from the same period of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for October were down 0.1% from the previous month and were down 0.1% from October 2018. Total business inventories were up 0.2% from the previous month, and were up 3.1% from a year ago. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.40, compared to 1.36 in October of 2018.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the second quarter ranged from 4.7% in Texas to 0.5% in Hawaii
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) first official release of gross domestic product (GDP) by county for 2001-2018 was made available.  In 2018, real (inflation adjusted) GDP increased in 2,375 counties, decreased in 717, and was unchanged in 21 counties.  Real GDP ranged from $18.4 million in Issaquena County, Mississippi to $710.9 billion in Los Angeles County, California. Of the 141 large counties, those with populations greater than 500,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 136 and decreased in 5.   Of the 464 medium-sized counties, those with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 433, decreased in 30, and was unchanged in 1. Of the 2,508 small counties, those with populations less than 100,000 in 2018, real GDP increased in 1,806, decreased in 682, and was unchanged in 20.
  • Import prices increased 0.2% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.3% from November 2018. The price index for exports increased 0.2% in November, after decreasing 0.1% in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.3% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) held steady in November, following an increase of 0.4% in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also held steady, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 1.1% from November 2018 to November 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 1.3%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in November, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.2%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 2.1% for the 12-month period ending in November. The core index rose 2.3% from a year ago.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from October to November. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.3% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 49 thousand to 252 thousand in the week ending December 7. The 4-week moving average was 224 thousand, an increase of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 30 was 1,667 thousand, a decrease of 31 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,676, a decrease of 6.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.2% during the third quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 2.3% and hours worked increased 2.5%. From the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, productivity increased 1.5%, reflecting a 2.3% increase in output and a 0.9% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 2.5% in the third quarter of 2019, reflecting a 2.3% increase in hourly compensation and a 0.2% decrease in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 2.2% over the last four quarters.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 266 thousand in November, following an increase of 156 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 254 thousand in November, while government employment increased by 12 thousand. In November, notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, and financial activities, while mining lost jobs.
  • The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% in November, from 3.6% in October. The unemployment rate was 3.7% in November 2018.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 44 thousand to 5.811 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 40 thousand to 1.224 million and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.2% in November.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in November.
  • In November, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $28.29. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.1%.
  • The international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $47.2 billion in October from $51.1 billion in September (revised), as exports decreased to $207.1 billion and imports decreased to $254.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit was $520.1 billion, an increase of $6.9 billion, from the same period in 2018.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 0.6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 1.4% September decrease.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.1%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October, up following three consecutive monthly decreases, increased less than $0.1 billion.  This followed a 0.7% September decrease.
  • The international trade deficit was $66.5 billion in October, down $4.0 billion from $70.5 billion in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods for October were $135.3 billion, $0.9 billion less than September exports. Imports of goods for October were $201.8 billion, $5.0 billion less than September imports.
  • Retail inventories for October were up 0.3% from September and were up 3.1% from October 2018.
  • Wholesale inventories for October were up 0.2% from September and were up 3.9% from October 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 15 thousand to 213 thousand in the week ending November 23. The 4-week moving average was 219.75 thousand, a decrease of 1.5 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 16 was 1,640 thousand, a decrease of 57 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since August 4, 1973 when it was 1,633 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 1,680.5 thousand, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Housing starts in October were up 3.8% and from the previous month and were up 8.5% from October 2018. Building permits in October were up 5.0% from September and were up 14.1% from a year ago.
  • Existing home sales increased 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in October, from 5.36 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing home price in October was $270.9 thousand, up 6.2% from October 2018. Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 2.7% from the previous month, and decreased 4.3% from a year ago, to 1.77 million. Unsold inventory was at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.1 months in September, and down from 4.3 months in October 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates moving lower. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66% for the week ending November 21st, down from last week when it averaged 3.75%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.15% for the week ending November 21st, down from last week when it averaged 3.20%.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.2% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 15, 2019.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in October in 4 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Eight states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 3 states had increases, and 39 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 4 states in October, decreased in 1, and was essentially unchanged in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 27 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 23 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • From June 2018 to June 2019, employment increased in 279 of the 355 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2019, national employment (as measured by the Quarterly County Employment and Wages program) increased to 149.1 million, a 1.1% increase over the year. Adams, Colorado, had the largest over-the-year increase in employment with a gain of 5.3%. Among the 355 largest counties, 347 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In the second quarter of 2019, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,095, a 3.8% increase over the year. Benton, Arizona, had the largest second quarter over-the-year wage gain at 16.3%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 227 thousand in the week ending November 16, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 221 thousand, an increase of 3.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 9 was 1,695 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 1,693 thousand, an increase of 3 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • The Conference Board’s leading economic index decreased 0.1% in October, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. The coincident index held steady, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. Over the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 0.1% (about a -0.2% annual rate) with six out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55%), while the coincident index increased 0.8% (about a 1.5% annual rate) with three of four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75%). This was the first time since May 2016 that the leading economic index’s six-month growth has slipped into negative territory.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 96.8 in November, from 95.5 in October. The Index was 97.5 in November of 2018. The Current Conditions Index decreased from 113.2 in October to 111.6 in November, while The Index of Consumer Expectations increased from 84.2 to 87.3.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for October were up 0.3% from September, and were up 3.1% from October 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.2% from September, and were up 2.8% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.4% from the first 10 months of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for September were down 0.2% from August, while inventories were up less than 0.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40, compared with 1.36 in September 2018.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.8% in October, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Total industrial production in October was 1.1% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased 0.8 percentage point to 76.7%, 3.1 percentage points below its 1972-2018 average.
  • The import price index decreased 0.5% in October, while the export price index decreased 0.1%. The import price index decreased 3.0% from October 2018 to October 2019, while the price index for exports decreased 2.2%.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.4% in October, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.1%. The producer price index for final demand increased 1.1% from October 2018 to October 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 1.5%.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.4% in October, after holding steady in the previous month. The core index increased 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.8% for the 12-month period ending in October, while the core index rose 2.3%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.2% from September to October. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 225 thousand in the week ending November 9, an increase of 14 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 217 thousand, an increase of 1.75 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Personal income increased in 3,019 counties, decreased in 91, and was unchanged in 3 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income increased 5.7% in the metropolitan portion of the United States and increased 4.8% in the nonmetropolitan portion in 2018. The change in personal income ranged from negative 3.2% in Lynn County, Texas to 17.5% in Midland County, Texas in 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates picked up last week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75% for the week ending November 14th, up from last week when it averaged 3.69%.  A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.94%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.20% for the week ending November 14th, up from last week when it averaged 3.13%.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 9.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 8th.
  • The November 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity was little changed in New York State. The headline index edged down 1.1 points to 2.9. The prices paid index decreased 2.6 points, while the prices received index decreased 0.1 point.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the second quarter ranged from 4.7% in Texas to 0.5% in Hawaii. Professional, scientific, and technical services; government; real estate and rental and leasing; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally. Mining increased 23.5% for the nation and was the leading contributor to the increases in Texas, Wyoming, Alaska, and New Mexico—the fastest growing states.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.2% in September, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Shipments for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.2% in September, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date, new orders decreased 0.3%, while shipments increased 1.1%.
  • Sales of merchant wholesalers for September were virtually unchanged from the previous month, and were down 0.6% a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories decreased 0.4% in September, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.36 in September, compared with 1.29 a year ago.
  • The goods and services deficit was $52.5 billion in September, down $2.6 billion from $55.0 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. September exports were $206.0 billion, $1.8 billion less than August exports. September imports were $258.4 billion, $4.4 billion less than August imports. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit was $481.3 billion, up $24.8 billion from the same period in 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 211 thousand in the week ending November 2, a decrease of 8 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 215.25 thousand, an increase of 0.25 thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.3% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 2.1% and hours worked increased 2.4%. From the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, productivity increased 1.4%, reflecting a 2.3% increase in output and a 0.9% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 3.6% in the third quarter of 2019, reflecting a 3.3% increase in compensation per hour and a 0.3% decline in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 3.1% over the last four quarters.
  • The number of jobs openings edged down to 7.0 million on the last business day of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were little changed at 5.9 million and 4.8 million, respectively.
  • There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018, unchanged from 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The incidence rate for total recordable cases in private industry also remained unchanged from a year ago. This is the first year since 2012 that the total recordable cases rate did not decline.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates moving lower. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.69% for the week ending November 7, down from last week when it averaged 3.78%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.94%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13%, down from last week when it averaged 3.19%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.33%.
  • Mortgage applications edged down 0.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 1st.

 

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 128 thousand in October, following an increase of 180 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 131 thousand in October, while government employment decreased by 3 thousand. In October, notable job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, social assistance, and financial activities. Employment declined in motor vehicles and parts manufacturing due to strike activity. Job growth has averaged 167 thousand per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223 thousand in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate edged up to 3.6% in October, from 3.5% in September. The unemployment rate was 3.8% in October 2018.
  • The number of unemployed increased by 86 thousand to 5.855 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 50 thousand to 1.264 million and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to 63.3% in October.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.4 hours.
  • In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $28.18. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.0%.
  • Personal income increased 0.3% in September according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income increased 0.3% and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%. Real disposable personal income increased 0.3% in September, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2%. The personal consumption expenditures price index (headline index) and the core index both held steady in September. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.3% from September 2018, while the core index also increased 1.7%.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.0% in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.0% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 2.4%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.2%, compared with an increase of 1.9%.
  • According to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 14 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 2.0% increase in real GDP in the second quarter. Professional, scientific, and technical services; real estate and rental and leasing; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter of 2019.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.1% in September, while shipments decreased 0.4%. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.3%, while shipments held steady. Year-to-date new orders were down 0.8% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 2.2%.
  • September new home sales decreased 0.7% to an annualized rate of 701 thousand units. The September figure was 15.5% above the September 2018 figure. The median sales price of new houses sold was $299.4 thousand, 8.8% below September 2018.
  • Total existing home sales decreased 2.2% in September from the previous month, but sales were up 3.9% from a year ago.  The median existing home price was $272.1 thousand, up 5.9% from September 2018. Total housing inventory at the end of September was 1.83 million, 2.7% below a year ago. This inventory was at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales rate, down from 4.4 month a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing and reaching their highest levels in 12 weeks. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.75% for the week ending October 24, up from last week when it averaged 3.69%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was 4.86%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, up from last week when it averaged 3.15%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was 4.29%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 11.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 18th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 6 thousand to 212 thousand in the week ending October 19. The 4-week moving average was 215 thousand, a decrease of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 12 was 1,682 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,677.25 thousand, an increase of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for October increased to 95.5, from 93.2 in September. The Index was 98.6 in October 2018.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for September were down 0.3% from the previous month, but were up 4.1% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were down 0.1% from the previous month, but were up 3.7% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 3.4% from the first nine months of 2018.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for August increased 0.2% from July, the same increase as in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories held steady, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.40 in August, compared with 1.35 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.4% in September, following a 0.8% increase in the previous month. Total industrial production in September was 0.1% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased to 77.5%, 2.3 percentage points below its 1972-2018 average, and 1.8 percentage points below September 2018.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214 thousand in the week ending October 12, an increase of 4 thousand from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was 214.75 thousand, an increase of a thousand from the previous week’s average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September in 7 states, higher in 4 states, and stable in 39 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 41 states and the District had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 3 states in September 2019, decreased in 2, and was essentially unchanged in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 27 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 23 states and the District were essentially unchanged.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 118.4 million full-time wage and salary workers were $919 in the third quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 3.6% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.8% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period.
  • Housing starts in September were down 9.4% from the previous month, but were up 1.6% from a year ago. Building permits were down 2.7% from the previous month, but were up 7.7% from September 2018.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates increasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.69% for the week ending October 17, up from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.85%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.15%, up from last week when it averaged 3.05%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 4.26%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 11th.
  • The October 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew slightly in New York State, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline, general business conditions, index edged up two points to 4.0 in October, while prices paid and prices received indexes decreased.
  • The PhiladelphiaFEDbusiness outlook survey for October indicated continued growth in regional manufacturing. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased to 5.6. Both prices received and prices paid indexes also decreased in October.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators decreased 0.1% in September, following a 0.2% decrease in the previous month. In the six-month period ending September 2019, the leading economic index increased 0.2% (about a 0.4% annual rate), about the same rate of growth as over the previous six months. The coincident index held steady in September, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month.  The coincident economic index grew by 0.6% (about a 1.1% annual rate) in the six-month period ending in September, slightly slower than the growth of 1.0% (about 1.9% annual rate) over the previous six months.
  • 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.