In the News
New home sales rose 5.7% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 units from a downwardly revised rate of 368,000 units in August. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were up 27.1% compared with September 2011. At the current sales pace, there’s a 4.5-month supply of new homes on the market.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October’s final reading rose to 82.6, the highest level in five years.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose $19.6 billion or 9.9% to $218.2 billion in September. This increase follows a revised 13.1% decrease in August. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, September orders posted a monthly increase of 2%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 19 fell 12%. Refinancing applications decreased 13%. Purchase volume fell 8%.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 0.3% in September after a 2.6% decrease in August. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were up 14.5% compared with September 2011.
The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter of 2012. This follows a 1.3% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2012.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending October 20 fell by 23,000 to 369,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 13 fell by 2,000 to 3.25 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on October 30 and construction spending on November 1.