In the News
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 0.9% in August, following a 1.6% increase in July. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 2% compared with August 2011.
Retail sales rose 0.5% for the week ending October 27, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.7%.
Manufacturing activity rose to 51.7 in October after a reading of 51.5 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. This is the second uptick in manufacturing following three consecutive months of slight contraction.
The consumer confidence index rose to 72.2 in October from a revised 68.4 in September. It was the highest level since February 2008. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 26 fell 4.8%. Refinancing applications decreased 6%. Purchase volume rose 1%.
Total construction spending rose 0.6% to $851.6 billion in September, following a revised 0.1% decrease in August. Compared to September 2011, construction spending has risen 7.8%.
Factory orders rose 4.8% in September to a seasonally adjusted $475.4 billion, following a 5.1% decrease in August. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders increased 1.4% in September.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending October 27 fell by 9,000 to 363,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 20 rose by 4,000 to 3.26 million. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October. However, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% in October from 7.8% in September due to more people entering the labor force.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on international trade on November 8 and wholesale trade on November 9.